Dana Bash Dings Mike Pence for Contradiction on ‘Parents’ Rights’ Over Opposition to Treating Trans Youth (Video)

Pence’s remarks came during a CNN Town Hall held in Iowa Wednesday

During his CNN town hall on Wednesday, former Vice President Mike Pence unsurprisingly expressed opposition to various LGBTQ causes and events — for example, the recent Los Angeles Dodgers Pride Night debacle. But when he spoke out against medical treatment for trans children, even when those children have the full support of their parents, moderator Dana Bash called out the contradiction.

While discussing LGBTQ individuals, Pence said he wants to ban all forms of gender transition for people under the age of 18. “When you’re talking about something that is absolutely transformational and has profound negative effects on people in the long-term,” Pence said. “Before they had a surgical procedure. I would say just wait.”

Adopting the conservative movement’s “gender ideology” terminology that attempts to describe transgender identity as an ideological position, Pence added, “We’ve got to protect kids from making decisions that permanently alter their bodies.”

Watch the clip above now (via Aaron Rupar on Twitter).

“So I just want to be clear on this,” Bash responded. “Because, you are so adamant about parents’ rights, but in this particular case, parents who say, along with the doctors, that what is best for their kids, what their kids feel most comfortable with doing, is gender transition, that the parents should not be allowed to do that?”

“I take your point, I take your point,” Pence replied.

“No it’s not a point, it’s a question,” Bash said as Pence stammered.

“What we have afoot in America is a radical, gender ideology that has taken hold in our schools, has taken hold in our universities, it is afoot across the nation,” Pence said.

Wednesday’s Town Hall is one in a series that CNN is hosting for presidential candidates from both parties.

Earlier in the event, Pence said he does not support a criminal indictment of former president Donald Trump for the scandal of classified documents found at Trump’s Florida home earlier this year, even if the Department of Justice determined he committed a crime.

“I think it would be terribly divisive to the country,” Pence said of indicting the former president. “It would send a terrible message to the rest of the world.” Asked if he would pardon Trump, Pence said he did not want to address “hypotheticals.”

Pence said he wants the country to focus on other serious threats that include Chinese global expansion and its social media platform TikTok, Russia’s war with Ukraine, crowds of immigrants at the U.S. southern border, intolerance toward religion, and divisiveness stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

He also opposes abortion rights.

“I’m running because I think this country is in a lot of trouble,” Pence told Iowa voters gathered for the Town Hall.

Pence said he is all for blocking TikTok in the United States, calling it a spying and propaganda tool for the Chinese Communist Party.

“TikTok is incompatible with the privacy and security of the United States,” Pence said.

But Pence really split from former Pres. Donald Trump on the issue of Russia and on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

He stood firm that it was wrong of Trump to ask him to use his office to overturn the result of the presidential election at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and added that, unlike Trump, he will offer no pardons for anyone involved in the violence of that day.

“President Trump was wrong then. He’s wrong now,” Pence said about Jan. 6. “He was asking me to choose between him and the Constitution. I chose the Constitution. I’ve always believed that I did my duty that day, to defend and protect the Constitution.”

As for Russia, Pence shook his head as he noted that Trump called Putin a “genius” after the Ukraine invasion. “I know the difference between a genius and a war criminal,” Pence said.

Pence said he doesn’t want the United States to directly confront Russia, but is all for supporting Ukraine.

“It’s not our war, but freedom is our fight,” Pence said. He also warned that for those who think Putin will stop at Ukraine, “As we say in Indiana, you’ve got another thing comin’.”