“The president has been clear on this tragedy, and so have I,” Pence told TV cameras covering his trip. “I spoke at length about this heartbreaking situation, on Sunday night.”
“And I stand with the President, and I stand by those words.”
Pence said that, though he is in Chile, “our hearts are in Charlottesville. Because, just a few short hours ago, family and friends gathered to say farewell to a remarkable young woman, Heather Heyer.
“And we have been praying, we have been praying for god’s peace and comfort for her family and her friends and her loved ones,” Pence said.
“And we are also praying that, in America, we will not allow the few to divide the many.”
Presumably, by “the few” he was not referencing President Donald Trump, though news media has been mulling the degree to which Trump’s pixilated press conference at Trump Tower late Tuesday has set his administration on an island, apart from the Republican Party.
Pence’s heart may have been at the Charlottesville memorial for Heyer, but viewers also have come to expect the President, or some stand-in, be in attendance at these somber headline-making occasions. That noticeably was not the case this morning at the downtown Charlottesville theater where the memorial was held less than 24 hours after Trump overrode his staff’s plans and held an impromptu presser at Trump Tower to take back his do-over statement condemning the neo-Nazis and other white supremacists who went to the town over the weekend.
Hijacking his own press conference, which was supposed to be about his administration’s infrastructure overhaul plans, Trump reiterated his first statement that both sides were responsible for the Charlottesville violence, adding, “The statement I made Saturday was a fine statement.”
Heyer died when an Ohio man slammed his car into a group of pedestrians protesting the Unite the Right rally staged by the white supremacist groups.