Vice President Mike Pence went on the Sunday morning talk shows and ended up looking absolutely empty-headed defending his idol, Donald Trump. With a completely straight face, the vice president compared POTUS to Martin Luther King. This is how his blasphemy played out.
Pence appeared on ABC’s Face The Nation with host Margaret Brennan. He gave off the unmistakable appearance of a battered wife — of Trump. The host started off asking him if his protective Secret Service detail had been paid for protecting him.
Pence’s responses became more and more pained as the interview continued. At the beginning, he replied that they were determined “to secure the border to end the shutdown:”
‘But we also have a crisis at our southern border, Margaret. Humanitarian and a security crisis. And as the president laid out yesterday we’re absolutely determined to secure the border to end the shutdown. And what the president articulated yesterday was a good faith, common sense compromise where the president laid out his priorities: building a physical barrier on the southern border – a steel barrier – new resources for border patrol, humanitarian assistance technology.’
Pence filled the interview with repetitive “secure the border,” “end the humanitarian security crisis,” and “end the government shutdown.” After that, he did his change-the-subject move to Martin Luther King Day. Then, Pence really blew it when he compared Donald Trump to Martin Luther King:
‘…the American people today are thinking a lot about it being the weekend where we remember the life and work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But one of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” You think of how he changed America. He inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do. Come to the table in a spirit of good faith. We’ll secure our border, we’ll reopen the government and we’ll move our nation forward as the president said yesterday to even a broader discussion about immigration reform in the months ahead.’
The vice president brought up the temporary three-year status for DACA. Then, he added what was most important, “the crisis (at) our southern border:”
‘It really is an effort to- to compromise and- and we really look forward to the Senate taking this bill up Tuesday and beginning to work in earnest not just to end this government shutdown, which is a burden on the families of 800,000 federal workers but even more importantly in that to address the crisis that we face in our southern border.’
Brennan asked if this was a genuine attempt, why were the Democratic leaders not consulted? Pence did his best to weasel-word his way out of his situation:
‘Well, Margaret we’ve been talking to Democrat–over the last four weeks. Well, first the president’s met repeatedly with Democrat leadership all the way through a week ago last Wednesday–Well look, that- that meeting in the situation room a week ago Wednesday the president looked at Speaker Pelosi and said, “Ok if I gave you everything you wanted, if I signed legislation for most- funding most of the government and- and had a 30 day extension on homeland security.” He said to her – I was sitting there – he said, “Would you give me funding to secure the border and a wall?” And she said, “no.’…It includes my priorities, it includes priorities that Democrats had- have advanced for some period of time.” And we believe it provides a framework–‘
Brenna asked him what he was talking about, and what did the Democrats think:
‘–a framework for ending this impasse, securing our- our border and reopening government. Right. Well –well the- the president met this week, we all did, with the problem solvers caucus. I think we all know who was there and we- we were grateful for their presence. But we’ve had- we’ve had good conversations with Democrat members of the Senate but look, their- their- their leadership has discouraged them in the House and the Senate from engaging the administration so I want to respect those conversations.’
Brennan noted that Trump took amnesty off of the table, and the VP said:
‘The president this morning tweeted something that I’d like you to clarify though. He said, “Amnesty will- will be used on a much bigger deal whether on immigration or something else.” Was that an offer for a path to citizenship?’
Brennan hit Pence right between the eyes:
‘Do you know what he meant?’
Pence replied “Yes I do,” then he waited for her to ask him to explain, which she did. Then, he answered — sort of:
‘At the end of his remarks yesterday he made it very clear that while this proposal is just it’s- look- it’s- it’s funding to secure our border, to build a steel barrier on the southern border, to give additional resources that the Department of Homeland Security has requested in terms of personnel and facilities and detection technologies as well as humanitarian assistance.’
After that, Brennan asked if Trump would negotiate the “$5.7 billion ask:”
‘Well look, that’s the president’s request and the Senate leadership has agreed to bring the bill to the floor with our request for funding for the wall and all the other resources. But look we recognize the legislative process is a process of give and take. The Democrats want to bring amendments or recommendations forward. I know the president will give them due consideration, but the president is absolutely determined to build a steel barrier on the southern border in the 10 priority areas that the Department of Homeland Security said that we need a physical barrier. It’s roughly two hundred and thirty four miles. It’s not from sea to sea.’
Then, the host asked if he regretted separating 2,700 children from their parents. At that point, Pence started confusing himself with the president:
‘Well the president reversed that policy. And now we have in place — I think — I think we, we regret not only that circumstance but what’s driving that circumstance. It’s one of the reasons why the president had Secretary Nielson negotiate with Mexico that going forward we’ll be able to allow families to remain in Mexico while they apply for asylum…The president in his proposal also recommended that we allow children to apply for asylum–.’
Brennan noted “In the countries of origin,” and Pence said:
‘– in the Central American countries. Look, the human traffickers and the cartels take American cash to- to entice families to send either their family or their children on the long and dangerous journey north. We want that to end. These reforms will advance that from ending.’
Then, the host asked if The Buzzfeed report was accurate and if not, what part was inaccurate — four times:
‘Well, we — I– the — the special counsel said that the report of BuzzFeed was inaccurate and- and frankly the response by many in the national media to take it at face value and engage —
‘And I– in– in hyperventilating about accusations against the president was really a disgrace. Look, look —
‘There is a- – there is an obsession in this town. Look, we — we’ve fully cooperated with the special counsel, over a million documents, we’ll continue to fully cooperate. I’ll let the special counsel address that issue. The president’s maintained that he did nothing wrong. But look, what the American people saw this week was the obsession of many in the national media, and frankly some Democrats on Capitol Hill, to assume the worst about this president.
‘Well frank — we — we — appreciate the special counsel making it clear that that report was inaccurate.’
Brennan said “noted.”
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.