Journalists across the spectrum marveled at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump throwing running mate Gov. Mike Pence “under the bus” by asserting that they haven’t spoken about Syria and that they “disagree” on the issue during the October 9 presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
From CNN’s coverage of the October 9 presidential debate:
MARTHA RADDATZ (MODERATOR): Let me repeat the question. If you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? And I want to remind you what your running mate said. He said “provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength” and that “if Russia continues to be involved in airstrikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.”
DONALD TRUMP: He and I haven't spoken and I disagree.
RADDATZ: You disagree with your running mate?
TRUMP: I think you have to knock out ISIS. Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS. We have people that want to fight both at the same time. But Syria is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia and it’s Iran, which [Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton] made strong and scary and Obama made into a powerful nation and a very rich nation, very, very quickly. I believe we have to get ISIS. We have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved. She had a chance to do something with Syria , they had a chance. And that was the line.
Reporters characterized Trump’s remarks as “unprecedented[ly]” throwing Pence “under the bus”:
Pence, under the bus https://t.co/eFOjSMieFm
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) October 10, 2016
“He and I haven't spoken” is more damaging than “we disagree.”
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 10, 2016
BIG MOMENT: “He and I haven't spoken, and I disagree” -- Trump on his running mate Mike Pence's Syria stance.
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) October 10, 2016
Whoa. Martha Raddatz notes what Pence has said about dealing with Syria. Trump's response: “He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree.”
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) October 10, 2016
“He and I haven't spoken,” Trump says of Pence. “I disagree with my running mate,” he adds re: his Syria position. #debates2016
— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) October 10, 2016
“He and I haven't spoken and I disagree” Trump says re: Pence's position on humanitarian situation Syria. Audible gasps in press file
— Noah Gray (@NoahGrayCNN) October 10, 2016
“He and I haven't spoken and I disagree” Trump says of Mike Pence's Syria policy.
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) October 10, 2016
WHOA!!! Trump is asked about Pence’s comments about confronting Russia.
Trump: “He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree.”#debate
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 10, 2016
Maybe the most striking foreign issue statement of the debate from Trump and almost entirely false. https://t.co/UzyWKgxDqI
— Julian Borger (@julianborger) October 10, 2016