Always a bringer of bad takes, Vice President Mike Pence is again the target of outrage after remarks he made during a Sunday interview with CBS’s Face the Nation, where he quoted Martin Luther King Jr. while arguing for President Trump‘s border wall. At one point, he even compared Trump to MLK, saying they both sought “change” through the legislative process.
One day before the federal holiday honoring King, Pence quoted a passage from King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
“One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy,'” Pence said.
“You think of how he changed America,” Pence went on, speaking of King. “He inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union.”
“That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on Congress to do — come to the table in the spirit of good faith,” Pence said. “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.”
As NBC News points out, another one of King’s speeches made a powerful statement against walls. In a 1964 speech in East Berlin, King addressed the then-standing Berlin Wall.
“Here on either side of the wall are God’s children, and no manmade barrier can obliterate that fact,” King said.
As expected, Pence’s remarks sparked a wave of backlash in the op-eds and on social media.
Writing for CNN, Julian Zelizer said that there’s “no justification for Vice President Pence to use King’s memory to support the administration’s policies. Doing so is a perversion of the work of one of the greatest social activists of modern times.”
The other takes were many.
“Once again, Mike Pence is the walking embodiment of the saying, ‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt,'” CNN commentator W. Kamau Bell tweeted.
To equate the legacy of one of America’s finest statesmen and champions of civil rights with a vanity project built on racist ideology and hatred is beyond disgraceful. @VP owes the American people, and the memory of Dr. King, an immediate and profuse apology. @POTUS is no MLK!
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) January 20, 2019
Watch the video below, via Face the Nation:
When asked what Democrats were involved in conversations about a DACA deal, @VP points to “good conversations” w/ Dems. He says, “The leadership has discouraged them, in the House and the Senate, from engaging the administration, so I want to respect those conversations.” pic.twitter.com/T3YLTkQx8h
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 20, 2019
Featured image via screen grab