03:07 - Source: CNN
Mike Pence on defending Trump's statements

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Pence was pressed over the Muslim ban

Pence had previously been critical of Trump's proposal

CNN —  

When asked Thursday why he longer speaks out against Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Mike Pence had a simple explanation.

“Well, because it’s not Donald Trump’s position now,” Pence said during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”

Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” has been tweaked several times in the 10 months since he proposed it, making the actual substance of the policy muddled and confusing.

Pence, meanwhile, has faced questions after he repeatedly passed up opportunities to defend his running mate at the top of the Republican ticket at Tuesday’s vice presidential debate.

The Indiana governor expressed differences with Trump before he joined the party’s ticket, including on the Muslim ban. When Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in December, Pence called the proposal “offensive and unconstitutional.”

Trump moderated the proposal in the months that followed, and by July, after he was tapped as Trump’s veep, Pence said the refined policy to suspend immigration of Muslims from “terror states” was the “right call.”

On Thursday, Pence said he and Trump “have been very, very clear about the issue of suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism.”

When he was pressed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo on his past criticism of Trump, Pence responded only with praise for the Republican presidential nominee.

“I’m honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him,” Pence said.