Pence's eight-car motorcade ruffles feathers on Michigan's Mackinac Island, where cars are banned

Vice President Pence's arrival in Michigan with an eight-vehicle motorcade to attend the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference over the weekend ruffled some feathers on an island where cars are generally banned, the Detroit Free Press reported


The conference took place on the state’s Mackinac Island, which has a population of around 500 people, according to the 2010 census, that is known for its ban on vehicles. The ban first took effect in the late 19th century, Time magazine reported.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the vice president’s motorcade is the first ever to arrive in the community, where residents generally commute by bike or snowmobile in colder weather. However, residents can be granted a temporary vehicle permit in certain circumstances.

It has long been custom for the president and vice president to travel with several armored vehicles by motorcade as a security measure.

However, the sight of the vice president’s motorcade on Mackinac Island prompted some criticism from local Democratic leaders. 

Former state Senate candidate Julia Pulver (D) tweeted a video of the vice president’s motorcade and wrote, “For those not from MI, you should understand what a huge transgression this is.” 

“Our #MackinacIsland has been a car free haven forever, a piece of history frozen in time. Tell anyone from MI @VP just drove not 1 but 8 CARS on this island & watch their blood boil,” she continued. 

Mark Brewer, who previously chaired the Michigan Democratic Party, shared a similar sentiment in a tweet earlier Saturday, writing, “Ridiculous, unnecessary Mackinac Island @VP Pence motorcade which is disrespectful of Mackinac traditions.”

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Other social media users also commented on the motorcade, including former Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren.

However, some noted that the motorcade was appropriate given security concerns.