Pence pans Democrats for ‘embracing’ socialism

Pence pans Democrats for ‘embracing’ socialism
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence on Friday accused Democrats of “embracing” socialism, painting a stark contrast between President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE and his opponents ahead of the 2020 election.

Speaking before a packed crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Pence slammed congressional Democrats over recent legislative proposals such as "Medicare for all" and the "Green New Deal," which seeks to tackle climate change by investing in eco-friendly jobs. 

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“Today Democrats openly advocate an economic system that has impoverished millions of people around the world. 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 centuries. That system is socialism,” he said.

“What Medicare for all really means is quality health care for none. The only thing green about the so-called Green New Deal is how much green it’s going to cost taxpayers if these people ever pass it into law.”

Socialism took center stage at CPAC this week, with several speakers focusing on the philosophy and Democrats’ recent legislation, painting them as threats to the country’s ideological fabric.

“The truth is we want 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, men and women, between freedom and socialism, between personal responsibility and government dependence,” Pence said.

“The moment America becomes a socialist country is the day America ceases to be America.”

Possibly previewing a campaign message for 2020, the vice president focused some of his ire on the Democratic primary field, saying many candidates are following the lead of self-avowed democratic socialist Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden MORE (I-Vt.). The primary contest has already mushroomed to around a dozen candidates, with many voicing support for policies to end wealth and racial inequality, including Medicare for all.

However, Pence expressed optimism that the Republican Party has struck a winning message against whoever Democrats eventually choose as their nominee.

“If we lay out a choice between freedom and socialism, the American people will choose freedom every single time,” he said.