Pence Tells Christians Trump Is 'Fighting Hard' for Them
Vice President Mike Pence is reiterating the support of President Donald Trump for the causes dear to Christian conservatives, saying in a speech that the 45th president will "never stop fighting" for them.
Gathered before hundreds at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference in Washington, D.C. Saturday evening, the vice president mentioned that President Trump carried states in the 2016 election that had not been won by a Republican in a generation, having turned the Democrats' "blue wall red." And Christian conservatives were an indispensable part of his electoral victory in those states and elsewhere, he noted.
Trump, Pence said, will "never stop fighting for the values and ideals that make this nation great."
And "[Trump] is fighting hard for all of you," he maintained, highlighting the president's conservative cabinet picks like Ben Carson as HUD Secretary, his cutting of bureaucratic red tape and regulations, and his recent withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords.
Trump gave a Thursday speech to the same group, arguing that "God's glorious wisdom will shine through" because Americans voted for him into office.
"Under President Trump, America stands with Israel," Pence continued, receiving enthusiastic applause.
The Johnson Amendment, which places certain restrictions on what churches are allowed to do politically, is beginning to be undone because "free speech should not stop at the doors of our churches, synagogues, and places of worship," he said.
He went on to say the Trump administration also stands firmly against religious persecution of any kind overseas, promising to confront it with all of their abilities.
As he has often done in previous speeches, Pence noted that it was the greatest honor of his life to serve as vice president. But he is most proud to "stand shoulder to shoulder with a president who stands without apology for the sanctity of human life," he said to a standing ovation and cheers.
Pence mentioned the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy which banned public funding of abortion providers overseas, a policy he expanded last month to cover nearly 9 billion dollars in American foreign aid, touting the administration's pro-life accomplishments.
In January, Pence was the first ever sitting vice president to ever appear in person and speak at the annual March for Life. He was also the tie-breaking vote in the Senate earlier this year in order to send legislation to the president's desk undoing an Obama administration rule forbidding state governments from defunding abortion providers.
"And when President Trump signs a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare we will defund Planned Parenthood once and for all," Pence said to rapturous applause.
The Obamacare law has made healthcare unaffordable for millions of Americans, Pence said, remarking on the skyrocketing premium rates on the individual markets, an increase of 200 percent in some states.
The law "is in a death spiral and more and more insurance companies are bailing on it" every day, he said.
A third of American counties and five whole states have only one choice of insurance under Obamacare, meaning that essentially they have no choice, he noted. He recounted a Wisconsin businesswoman with some health issues who told him that morning that she opted to forego paying for her health insurance for a few months last year so she could purchase Christmas gifts for her children and grandchildren.
"No American should have to pay for their health insurance and providing for their families," Pence said.
He told the Wisconsin businesswoman: "Help is on the way."
In his speech Pence made a point to honor "his mentor" Dr. James Dobson, who was present and the recipient this year of an award named after Winston Churchill given by the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
"You've done more for faith and freedom in your lifetime ... than any one person could do in ten lifetimes," he said, praising Dobson's life, scholarship, and books.
"Not only is your country grateful, but I say with confidence, great is your reward. You've made an eternal difference in the lives of millions."
Pence and his wife Karen celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary on Thursday.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition reportedly knocked on 1.2 million doors, made ten million phone calls, sent out 22 million pieces of mail, and distributed 30 million voter guides in the 2016 election cycle. Founded in 2009, the group has chapters in all 50 states.
Correction: June 12, 2017
An article on June 11, 2017 incorrectly stated that the award given to James Dobson was named after William Wilberforce. It was named after Winston Churchill.