Exclusive — Mike Pence: Trump, GOP Populists Abandoning Conservative Values

Former Vice President Mike Pence told Breitbart News that his speech warning of populism deals more with former President Donald Trump “and some of his imitators in the Republican primary” when asked Thursday if he considers MAGA Republicans to be populists, noting he is “very proud of the people in this movement.” 

Pence, in a speech in New Hampshire Wednesday, shared his belief that the Republican Party is at a crossroads with “conservatism” and “the siren song of populism unmoored to conservative principles” serving as the two pathways forward. He called populism on the right and progressivism on the left “fellow travelers on the same road to ruin.” 

“Look, I’m very, very proud of the people in this movement, and I’m speaking more about the former president and some of his imitators in the Republican primary,” Pence explained to Breitbart News on a Thursday morning phone call. “And there are voices on the outside who are calling for us to abandon our historic role as leader of the free world to literally stand down on our commitment to oppose Russian aggression, to stand up to China as it continues its military provocations in the Asia Pacific, and even, you know, one of my competitors in the primary actually said in the last week that he wouldn’t use American military force to defend Israel in an attack by Iran.”

Pence was referring to anti-woke businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who told news site Israel Hayom he is against sending U.S. service members to defend Israel from Iran, but “what we do need to do is to make sure that Israel is strong so that Iran isn’t emboldened.”

“I think, you know, I’m speaking more about the leading voices in our party, the candidates in our party who are taking what I consider to be more of a populist view where I think the challenges we’re facing during the disastrous years of President Joe Biden call for a rededication to those timeless, conservative principles that have always delivered American security and prosperity.” 

Pence believes that Trump and other “populists” in the primary are abandoning “core conservative principles,” including “walking away from America’s obligations as the leader of the free world and the arsenal of democracy, trying to marginalize the right to life to be a state’s only issue, and, frankly, Joe Biden’s policy on the national debt is insolvency.”

“And former President Trump’s position, and that of many others in the Republican primary, are identical to Joe Biden’s and won’t even talk about common sense reforms to Social Security and Medicare to save future generations from the mountain range of debt that really threatens our economy and threatens our nation’s ability to not only provide for the most needy among us but also, more importantly, provide for our common defense in the generations ahead. So, for me, what I wanted to speak about yesterday was the choice that Republican primary voters face and caucusgoers face in Iowa. There’s already a party that embraces appeasement abroad; there’s already a party that would ignore our national debt; there’s already a party that wants to marginalize the right to life. I think the Republican Party needs to choose not only a standard bearer who could lead us to victory but a standard bearer who will forge that victory on a foundation of conservative principles that have defined our movement and defined our party for the last 50 years.”

While Trump’s 2016 platform was widely regarded to be of a populist nature, Breitbart News asked Pence if he sees it that way or if the conventional wisdom was misguided. 

“No, look, I’m incredibly proud of the record of the Trump-Pence administration. I was proud to run alongside President Donald Trump. During that campaign in 2016, he made a promise that we would govern as conservatives, even though the former president had a very diverse political background,” Pence told Breitbart News. “And many people think that when he selected me, a proven conservative, to be his running mate was evidence that he was sincere about that. I believe he was, and I believed for four years. We guided our party; we guided our country on a foundation of conservative principles. “

“We added to that, I think, I think the former president was able to make the case that trade should not only be free, but fair; I was proud to be a part of an administration that put the interests of American jobs and American workers first,” he continued. “I was proud to be a part of an administration that said that we have to call on our allies to live up to their commitments for our common defense, but all along the way, you know, we built on a foundation that had been poured, not just back in the Reagan years, but frankly, the Republican Party is the party of the Republic, the Republic that was established in the Constitution of the United States, and, and I believe that all the liberties enshrined there — the principles of limited government, that commitment to provide for the common defense, to stand for our values, and, and the advancement of the protection of religious freedom and the right to life — has been at the very heart of our movement, and there it must remain.” 

When asked what he would say to those who would argue modern GOP populism derives from frustrations with the political establishment among everyday Americans, Pence said, “I completely understand the frustration of millions of Americans with the failure of institutions, a failure of leadership, and economic policies that seem to prefer globalization.”

“You know, I’m from the state of Indiana where we saw entire communities with thousands of automotive jobs see those factories shuttered 20 years ago, and those jobs shipped south of the border to Mexico, and so I understand the frustration that so many feel in our movement,” the former vice president continued. “But I think when they look at the success that we’ve had, when they look at the success of the Trump-Pence administration, what I want them to know is that while we added a fight for free and fair trade, while we held our allies accountable on the world stage, we still provided leadership on the world stage, we stood with our allies, stood up to our enemies, we cut taxes and created seven million jobs by expanding development of American energy and rolling back regulations. And, every day, we stood without apology for the sanctity of human life and made history to give Americans a new beginning for life.”

“So for me, it’s, I know there’ll be a temptation to move away from those time-honored principles,” Pence told Breitbart News. “I see others like, you know, one of my competitors, Vivek Ramaswamy, last year, in his book, advocated a 59 percent death tax. The last thing we should do right now is to begin to embrace the redistributionist policies of the progressive left in this country,” Pence said. “What we ought to be doing is talking about making the Trump-Pence tax cuts permanent, looking for ways to lift the tax burden that’s on working families. But however popular some certain ideas may be, I think we need to stay firmly planted on that conservative agenda that’s always delivered prosperity and security for the American people.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The IRS Is About to Weaponize AI Against Us

Nolte: Joe Biden Finally Enforces a Border – Keeps Illegals in Texas to Shield Blue States