Consistent with his rock-ribbed conservative reputation and unflinching devotion to the truth, Utah GOP Senator Mike Lee spoke to GOP Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and told him that he should indeed label white-supremacist David Duke “deplorable.”
Pence had evaded using the term to describe Duke after he was questioned by Wolf Blitzer of CNN on Monday, precipitating criticism from those suspecting that the Trump campaign has flirted with white supremacists and the alt-right movement in order to garner its support.
According to a GOP aide, Lee, who was brutally shut down during the GOP convention when he supported having a discussion about the rules of the convention, and has not endorsed Trump, “Emphasized that Republicans must identify David Duke's racism as deplorable, acknowledging that he ordinarily uses terms like 'deplorable' to describe messages, ideas, actions and organizations, but not people. This, Lee explained, is consistent with his belief as a Christian that even people who do bad things are redeemable. Lee also encouraged the Trump campaign to be explicit in its denunciation of the alt right movement."
Pence labeled Duke a "bad man," but insisted he would not call Duke "deplorable" because he does not resort to name-calling. The question from Blitzer was prompted by Hillary Clinton labeling half of all Donald Trump supporters as coming from a "basket of deplorables."
Mike Lee served as a Supreme Court clerk for Justice Samuel Alito, and as an appellate lawyer known for his knowledge of fundamental constitutional issues. His father was Rex E. Lee, the 37th Solicitor General of the United States under President Ronald Reagan and the founding dean of Brigham Young University’s law school.