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October 14, 2016 10:03 AM EDT

When a local TV reporter asked Mike Pence about what he would say to an 11-year-old girl who said Donald Trump’s comments about women made her feel bad about herself, the Republican vice presidential nominee seemingly decided to ignore the question.

During an interview with a Columbus, Ohio TV station, a reporter told Pence that an 11-year-old Girl Scout came to their office, and unsolicitedly brought up Donald Trump’s comments about women used in campaign commercials. Hillary Clinton’s campaign released an ad last month that overlaid Trump’s degrading comments about women’s appearances in interviews over images of young girls looking at themselves in the mirror.

“She said this: “When I hear those words and look in the mirror, they make me feel bad about myself,'” the reporter said. “Again, she said that totally unsolicited. What would you say to that 11-year-old girl?”

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Pence, whose staunch pro-life stance and support of restrictive legislation on abortion has led to his own share of woes with women, apparently heard a prompt about national security.

“Well, I would say to any one of my kids and any children in this country that Donald Trump and I are committed to a safer and more prosperous future for their family. The weak and feckless foreign policy that Hillary Clinton promises to continue has literally caused wider areas of the world to spin apart, the rise of terrorist threats that have inspired violence here at home, and we’ve seen an erosion of law and order in our streets,” Pence responded. “And we’ve seen opportunities and jobs evaporate and even leave Ohio and leave this country. I would say to any of our kids that if Donald Trump and I have the chance to serve in the White House, that we’re going to work every day for a stronger, safer and more prosperous America.”

When the Washington Post published a 2005 tape that showed Trump boasting about how he could do anything he wanted to women last Friday, Pence released a statement saying he was offended by his running mate’s remarks. But he’s spent the past week defending Trump and sticking to the campaign’s company line, even as a number of women came forward accusing Trump of unwanted sexual conduct. (Trump has fiercely denied all allegations.)

The Ohio TV reporter asked Pence if he could confidently say that the allegations against Trump were false.

“I can tell you that those unsubstantiated claims have all been denied by Donald Trump,” Pence said. “And I can tell you that we’re going to focus on the issues that the people of Ohio and Pennsylvania are really focused on — national security, getting this economy moving again, restoring law and order to our streets, and ensuring that we have a Supreme Court that really respects and upholds our most cherished Constitutional traditions.”

One issue Pence notably omitted? The prevalence of misogyny and sexual violence against women.

[H/T The Cut]

 

Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com.

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