Mike Pence shocks Fox News host after laughing off Trump's claim to 95% of Black support in 2020

“Why are you laughing,” the "Fox & Friends" host demanded of Trump's running mate

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published August 22, 2016 3:45PM (EDT)

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is spending his remaining days in office cleaning up after his reality TV star turned presidential nominee and running mate, Donald Trump, even defending the political neophyte's antics during a weekend away from the campaign trail at his Indianapolis home.

Days after Trump made his pitch to African-American voters in front of an all-white Michigan audience, asking "What do you have to lose," Pence did his best to follow the top of the ticket's lead.

Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt interviewed the Republican vice presidential candidate for a segment on Monday's "Fox & Friends," and appeared a bit surprised by the conservative's reaction to Trump's latest outrageous claim -- winning back African-American voters for "the party of Abraham Lincoln."

“Donald Trump is telling the African-American community ‘I am the guy for you,’ and he says by 2020 he’s going to have 95% of the African-American support,” Earhardt said to Pence as he revealed a big grin and a hearty chuckle.

“Why are you laughing?” she asked Pence with her own smile.

“Well, that’s Donald Trump," Pence quickly offered, immediately deflecting from his bit of revealing honesty to continue shilling on behalf of his party's nominee.

"Look, he has a heart for every American. And also he’s a truth teller. He speaks the truth. It’s been the failed policies of Democratic politicians that have harmed people living in the cities in this country now for generations... [A]nd his optimistic view about the 2020 when he’s running for re-election, that’s pure Donald Trump.”

Pence then went on to compare Trump to former President John F. Kennedy,noting that Trump has vowed, like Kennedy before him, "to advance policies that cause all ships to rise, to create opportunities for every American."

"And his optimistic view about 2020 when he's running for re-election, that's pure Donald Trump," Pence remarked. "It's, look, we're going to deliver for every American and when the American people including, African-Americans in this country see the new jobs, new opportunities, the new educational choices that they will have under a Trump administration I have no doubt in my mind that that support is gonna grow."

Current polls show about 2 percent of black voters nationally supporting Trump.

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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