Adults say the darndest things.
Which is why at a political rally featuring Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence in North Carolina on Thursday, it was an 11-year-old boy named Matthew who forced the adult on the stage into an awkward situation by asking him to explain exactly where he stands when it comes to his running mate Donald Trump.
"I noticed that you’ve been softening up some of Mr. Trump’s policies and words, is this going to be your role in the administration?" asked the young boy when called upon – a question that despite its apparent earnestness drew immediate laughter from the crowd.
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In response, Pence first complimented Matthew—"this boy's got a future," he said—but then answered the question forthrightly by saying, "I couldn’t be more proud to stand with Donald Trump, we are shoulder to shoulder in this campaign, my friend." He went on to say that Trump is someone "larger than life" but that "sometimes things don't out like you mean."
The exchange between young Matthew and and the Republican governor of Indiana comes as much political reporting indicates the Trump campaign is in tatters following a week of fallout over the billionaire candidate's attacks on the parents of a U.S. soldier killed in action in Iraq, disputes with key members of his own party, and new rounds of poll numbers showing rival Hillary Clinton increasing her lead both nationally and within key swing states.
On the other side of that coin, new fundraising numbers for Trump released Wednesday show a surprising level of grassroots giving to his campaign and progressive critics continue to warn both the Clinton campaign and media figures of dangers associated with bashing Trump too much or repeating the idea that Trump can't possibly win.