Vice President Mike Pence made a vigorous defense of free market capitalism at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside of Washington, D.C., on Friday, arguing that freedom has made America great.
“It was freedom, not socialism, that gave us the most prosperous economy in the history of the world,” Pence proclaimed to the largest annual gathering of conservatives.
“It was freedom, not socialism, that ended slavery, won two world wars and stands today as the beacon of hope for all the world,” he continued.
— CPAC 2019 (@CPAC) March 1, 2019
“It was freedom, not socialism, that’s moving us beyond the prejudices of the past to create a more perfect union and extend the blessings of liberty to every American regardless of race or creed or color.”
Pence further contended that freedom has given Americans the highest quality of life and the cleanest environment and lifted the lives of millions from economic want.
The vice president observed that the Democratic Party is embracing the socialism espoused by presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and contained in the Green New Deal.
Most of the prominent Democratic candidates for president — including Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — have signed on to the Green New Deal resolution.
The Green New Deal envisions massive government intervention in the economy in order to transition the United States to 100 percent renewable energy, including the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Additionally, the Green New Deal contains new government entitlement programs, including free universal health care and college education, government-guaranteed employment and paid family and medical leave.
According to a study co-authored by the former head of the Congressional Budget Office, the plan could cost as much as $93 trillion over the next 10 years, which works out to about $600,000 per every American household, Fox News reported.
“Just as in 2016, 20 months from now the American people are going to face a choice once again,” Pence said. “Two years ago in Poland, President Trump declared, and I quote, ‘The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.’”
Pence then said to the CPAC attendees that the conservative movement must ask itself the same tough question.
“Do we have confidence in our values to defend them?” he asked, drawing an affirmative response from many in attendance.
“Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders?” Pence continued. “Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization? Looking out across this room, looking out across this great movement know we do!”
“Do we have confidence in our values to defend them, do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders, do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization. Looking out across this room … I know we do.” @VP #CPAC2019 #WhatMakesAmericaGreat pic.twitter.com/9tmXHA1jIG
— CPAC 2019 (@CPAC) March 1, 2019
A Fox News poll released Feb. 13 showed 57 percent of respondents had a positive opinion of capitalism, while only 25 percent viewed socialism in a positive light.
Trump clearly understands that most of the nation’s citizens do not support socialism, and by contrast he is trumpeting the policies that he and the Republican Party implemented that have led to robust economic growth and the lowest unemployment rate seen in decades, as well as the lowest ever recorded among African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans.
During his State of the Union address Feb. 5, the president differentiated himself from his would-be Democratic challengers’ vision of government, saying, “America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free and we will stay free.
“Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Trump added in a speech to Venezuelan Americans last month, “We know that socialism is not about justice, it’s not about equality, it’s not about lifting up the poor. Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class.”