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Pence Stands Behind Trump’s Claim of ‘Birther’ Roots

Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence on Sunday stood squarely behind his running mate, Donald Trump, doubling down on Trump’s assertion that birtherism traces back to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Donald Trump and the 'birther' movement 13:34

Asked by ABC News in a morning interview why Trump took so long to acknowledge President Obama’s birthplace as fact, the Indiana governor reaffirmed Obama’s Hawaii birth as “a fact” and said, “Donald Trump and I have — both acknowledged that without hesitation.”

Pence called the birther question one of “the debates of the past” and stated that Trump “put this issue to an end yesterday.”

Related: Analysis: Trump's Lengthy History of Conspiracy Theories and Rumors

But then Pence doubled down on Trump’s assertion that birtherism traces back to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The vice presidential candidate blamed Clinton and the national media from wanting “to distract attention,” and then asserted that there are “news reports” tracing the “birther movement all the way back to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008” — a fallacy pushed by Trump’s spokesman and, then, Trump late this week.

Pence could not provide further proof that Clinton or her campaign directly propagated birther claims.

Trump spent years spreading rumors about Obama's nationality, religion, and whether his accomplishments were the result of affirmative action.

Asked about Trump’s persistent use of name calling on the trail, Pence responded that he has his “own style” and Trump “has his own style.” Pressed whether he's comfortable with Trump’s particular style, Pence said, “I really am," adding that the difference between in style can come down to Trump’s New York roots.

“Things are a little different here in Indiana than they are in New York City,” Pence noted. “People talk a little — little different than they do sometimes about things."