Notre Dame Graduates Walk Out As VP Mike Pence Begins Address - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

NEWS

Notre Dame Graduates Walk Out As VP Mike Pence Begins Address

Posted: Updated:
Vice President Mike Pence speaks before administering the oath of office to Energy Secretary Rick Perry. March 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Vice President Mike Pence speaks before administering the oath of office to Energy Secretary Rick Perry. March 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Dozens of graduates and family members silently stood and walked out Sunday as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at Notre Dame's commencement ceremony.

Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was invited to speak after Notre Dame students and faculty protested the prospect of President Trump being invited to become the seventh U.S. president to give the commencement address.

Pence spoke briefly of Trump, praising his speech to the leaders of 50 Arab and Muslim nations earlier in the day in Saudi Arabia. Pence said the president "spoke out against religious persecution of all people of all faiths and on the world stage he condemned, in his words, the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians."

Trump has faced harsh criticism for his anti-Islamic rhetoric during the campaign, as well as his administration's legal battle to impose a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.

Earlier in the ceremony, valedictorian Caleb Joshua Pine urged a "stand against the scapegoating of Muslims" and criticized Trump's push to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Cassandra Dimaro and her parents were among those who walked out. Dimaro told the South Bend Tribune that it was a show of solidarity "for those of us impacted by the policies of the Trump administration."

Pence didn't comment on the walkout, which was expected, but he did allude to clashes at campuses elsewhere that have derailed appearances by controversial speakers, such as conservative firebrand Ann Coulter at the University of California at Berkeley.

"This university (Notre Dame) is a vanguard of the freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas at a time, sadly, when free speech and civility are waning on campuses across America," he said.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.