Vice President Mike Pence lambasted Democratic initiatives of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal and sought to frame the 2020 presidential campaign as a referendum on socialism.
“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,” Pence declared, per his prepared remarks shared with The Daily Caller.
The vice president continued, “the truth is, we want people to make poor people richer, they want to make rich people poorer. We want to make poverty more rare; they want to make poverty more comfortable. That’s the choice we face today: between freedom and socialism, between personal responsibility and government dependence.”
Pence singled out Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, saying, “remarkably, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination is an avowed socialist.
“And it’s not just him,” said Pence. “Bernie’s been joined by a chorus of candidates and newly elected officials who have papered over the failed policies of socialism with bumper-sticker slogans and slick social-media campaigns.” (RELATED: Obamacare Is Approaching Its 10th Birthday. This GOP Rep Has A Plan To Lean Into Its ‘Free Market’ Aspects)
Pence’s refrain comes days after he returned from a trip to South America, where the U.S. is trying to facilitate a transition of government in Venezuela. The U.S. is standing against Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro and officially recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of the country.
The vice president has emerged as one of the major forces within the administration shepherding Latin America policy. Pence announced new sanctions on the Venezuelan regime while in Bogota, Colombia and criticized the Maduro government for blocking humanitarian aid supplies
Pence recalled Trump’s 2017 Warsaw speech in which he queried whether “the West has the will to survive,” declaring “as we gather together here today, we must ask our movement the same question.”
As the president said that day, “Do we have confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy?”