Pence: Strickland's comment on Scalia's death are 'appalling' and 'callous'

Story highlights

  • "I don't wish anyone ill, but it happened at a good time," the Democratic Senate hopeful said about the late justice
  • The GOP vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, quickly denounced the comments

Washington (CNN)Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Republican nominee Donald Trump's running mate, denounced former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's remarks about Justice Antonin Scalia's death happening at a "good time."

Strickland, a Democrat who is challenging GOP Sen. Rob Portman, spoke at an AFL-CIO event on Monday in Ohio and emphasized the importance of his party maintaining the White House and winning back a Senate majority.
    "...The death of Scalia saved labor from a terrible decision," he said, according to a recording issued by the NTK Network, which calls itself a news aggregation site. "And I don't wish anyone ill, but it happened at a good time. Because once that decision had been made, it would have been tough to reverse it."
    Pence slammed Strickland's remarks, calling them "appalling and "callous."
    "Those remarks are appalling and they're one more reminder why Ohio must reelect Sen. Rob Portman," Pence said at a town hall in Moraine, Ohio. "Ted Strickland's callous remarks remind us of the stakes in this election ... including the right to keep and bare arms."
    Strickland apologized for his comments, saying in a statement, "That was an insensitive remark and I apologize."
    Scalia was a conservative who served on the Supreme Court, and died unexpectedly, at age 79, in February. Republicans have declined to consider federal Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland to replace him, who President Barack Obama nominated after Scalia's death.