Mike Pence discussed his running mate’s Twitter feud with Hamilton during an interview with Face the Nation on Sunday. After Pence attended a Friday night showing of the Tony-winning production, the vice president-elect was booed by the crowd. On Twitter, Donald Trump demanded the cast apologize.
The politician told the CBS program there’s no hard feelings following the incident, calling it a “great show.”
“I wasn’t offended by what was said, I’ll leave to others whether it was the appropriate venue to say it,” Pence claimed. “But I want to assure people who were disappointed in the election results, people who are feeling anxious about this time in the life of our nation, that President-elect Donald Trump meant exactly what he said on election night — that he is going to be the president of all the people of the United States of America.”
“I’m a history buff and my hat’s off to the cast and to the extraordinary team,” he added.
On Friday, Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the revisionist musical about Alexander Hamilton’s rise to power, addressed Pence from the stage after the curtain call.
“We... are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” Dixon said. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
Pence’s statement appears to be a direct response to the actor’s heartfelt plea, one that was especially relevant given that the star of Hamilton, Javier Muñoz, is gay and HIV-positive. The actor stepped in for Lin-Manuel Miranda, who originated the role, in July. This is also the time of the year in which the Great White Way fundraises for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, where actors ask for donations to help stop the spread of HIV.
Meanwhile, Pence openly supported conversion therapy while running for Congress in 2000. On his campaign website, Pence suggested that life-saving HIV funding be diverted to programs “which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
On Twitter, Dixon credited Pence with “stopping to listen.”
That respectful dialogue was in stark contrast to Trump, who went on a tirade against the universally beloved musical on Saturday, referring to it as “overrated.”
“The Theater must always be a safe and special place,” the president-elect tweeted on the morning of November 19. “The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
Just minutes earlier, he claimed that Pence was “harassed” by the production.
If Trump feels that Hamilton is less than praiseworthy, this is a different tone than the one his daughter, Ivanka, struck in March when she attended the Broadway show, tweeting a photo of the Playbill on her lap.
“I had very high expectations,” she said, “and they were still surpassed!”