Gov. Mike Pence Tries, Fails to Defend His Own ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

Case study in poor media training.

Mike-PenceIt’s been a rough week for Indiana Governor Mike Pence. After signing what’s called a “religious freedom” act in order to shore up his support among social conservatives ahead of a potential presidential run, Pence received overwhelmingly negative media coverage as companies like Yelp, Salesforce, Angie’s List, and the NCAA expressed concern about whether the law effectively legalized discrimination against LGBT individuals.

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about a similar law passing in Arkansas, and he followed with a Washington Post op-ed in which he called the precedent “dangerous” and categorized the law as “pro-discrimination.”

Pence began trying to control the damage by telling the Indianapolis Star that he would introduce additional legislation to “clarify” that the law does not encourage discrimination against LBGT individuals. The paper called it “the deepest crisis of his political career.”

Despite claiming repeatedly that he will prove that the negative attention stems from “misunderstanding driven by misinformation,” Pence then spent nearly ten minutes on This Week dodging a question from George Stephanopoulos about whether the law allows Indiana business owners to refuse to serve LGBT individuals:

It’s a case study in poor damage control, poor media training, and a complete inability to provide the “clarity” promised.

Safe the say the bad press will continue for Pence.