On Friday, March 1st, Vice President Mike Pence took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to address a jam-packed ballroom on a wide range of issues. The topic that the Vice President spent the most time on, however, was the rise of socialism in the Democratic Party.
Pence told the conservative audience, “Under the guise of Medicare-for-all and a Green New Deal, Democrats are embracing the same tired economic theories that have impoverished nations and stifled the liberties of millions over the past century. That system is socialism.”
The Green New Deal has come under fire by conservatives since its initial rollout, who have labeled it a radical and unrealistic policy proposal. The legislation has received praise from most major figures on the left, and Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders have all endorsed it.
The Vice President also touted the country’s economic turnaround under the current administration, “The unemployment rate for women has hit a 55-year low. And the unemployment rate for Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and African Americans have reached the lowest level ever recorded in American history. And the wages of working Americans are rising at a faster pace than they have in more than a decade.”
Pence then praised President Trump for his attempt to solve the problems at America’s southern border and stressed the dangers of doing nothing, “Every day we don’t secure our border, we’re allowing the crisis to worsen, more lives to be endangered, and more people to be exploited, and more drugs to flow into our country. That’s why President Trump used his authority under the law to declare a national emergency on our southern border.”
The President’s decision to declare a national emergency has been a controversial one, and legislators on both sides of the aisle have criticized Trump for executive overreach. Republican Senator Ben Sasse warned the president that “We absolutely have a crisis at the border, but as a Constitutional conservative I don’t want a future Democratic President unilaterally rewriting gun laws or climate policy.”
However, in his CPAC speech, the Vice President reached out to Republicans and asked them to support the administration’s position, “But now Democrats are trying to stop the President from exercising the authority that the Congress gave him to address this real crisis… So today we call on every member of Congress: Stand up for border security, stop playing politics with the security of the American people, and stand with President Trump for a stronger and safer America.”
The next section of Pence’s speech included a strong condemnation of Democrats for their failure to condemn infanticide, “You know, I’ve long believed that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable: the aged, the infirmed, the disabled, and the unborn. With Democrats standing for late-term abortion, infanticide, and a culture of death, I promise you this President, this party, and this movement will always stand for the unborn.”
This is a clear reference to the Democrats’ block of Ben Sasse’s “born alive” bill, which would place a mandate on doctors to provide medical care to abortion survivors. The final vote was 53-44, seven votes short of the 60 required to pass it.
Pence ended his speech with a rallying cry for the right-wing audience and urged them to support President Trump’s plan for America, “So, as you go from this place, go with confidence. Confidence that you have a President that’s fighting every day for the ideals and the values that are at the heart of American greatness. Confidence in the goodness of the American people and the rightness of our cause.”