Pence on Confederate statue controversy: ‘I’m someone who believes in more monuments’

Pence on Confederate statue controversy: ‘I’m someone who believes in more monuments’
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Vice President Pence said on Tuesday that the United States should be building more monuments around the country, not tearing them down.

Pence was asked on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday morning whether he supported local municipalities around the country in their efforts to remove Confederate statues in the wake of the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and told the hosts that while he thinks the statues are a "local decision," he would rather see more monuments constructed than torn down.

 

"Obviously, I think [whether to remove the monuments] should always be a local decision," Pence told Fox News. "And with regard to the U.S. Capitol, should be state decisions."

"I'm someone who believes in more monuments, not less monuments," Pence continued. "What we ought to do is remember our history."

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Pence called for monuments of civil rights heroes and others who have advanced "progress," arguing that America's monuments should tell the country's full history.

"But we ought to celebrate the progress we have made since that history," Pence said. "I can't help but think that rather than tearing down monuments, as some are want to do, rather than tearing down monuments that have graced our cities for years, we ought to be building more monuments.

"We ought to be celebrating the men and women who have helped our nation move towards a more perfect union and tell the whole story of America."

Pence's remarks echoed that of President Trump, who last week argued that "beautiful" Confederate monuments being taken down around the country could lead to statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson being removed as well.

"Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish," Trump tweeted last week.

"Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!" 

The controversy over Confederate monuments erupted earlier this month when a white supremacist rally in Virginia over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee turned violent. Numerous cities around the country have made efforts to take down statues in the aftermath, and many other monuments around the country have been vandalized or even destroyed.