Vice President Mike Pence has made no secret about his moralistic views on human sexuality. He is no supporter of LGBT rights. He has long supported efforts to marginalize and discriminate against LGBT Americans. He is an adamant religiously conservative Christian.
In a remarkably hateful and consistent move, Pence recently became the first sitting Vice President of the United States to address the decidedly anti-LGBT group, the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. This should not come as a surprise. Last year, President Trump became the first sitting president to address the very same group.
The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks hate groups and has characterized the Family Research Council as a hate group. Trump has wooed the evangelical Christian right at these events. He has spoken at the summit on four separate occasions, including last year and during his presidential campaign.
On Saturday, Pence appeared before the gathered right-wing crowd in an effort to reach out to the evangelical Christian right. Many evangelicals see Pence as a heroic figure who champions anti-abortion efforts and crusades against protections for LGBT people. He makes Trump more palatable for many on the religious right who might otherwise be disinclined to dismiss Trump’s demonstrably lax morals.
During his speech to the summit, Pence targeted Democrats, accusing them of moving further to the left. He said, “While Republicans have been delivering on a common-sense conservative agenda since 2016—in case you didn’t notice—Democrats have fallen further to the left than ever before.”
He continued, “Today’s Democratic Party wants to raise your taxes. Today’s Democratic Party wants open borders and to abolish ICE. Today’s Democratic Party thinks Obamacare didn’t go far enough, and they’re now running actual socialists for higher office. Today’s Democratic Party wants abortion on demand, and they want you to pay for it.”
Of course, the policies Pence argues Democrats desire are not widely held even among Democrats. His oversimplified account of some of the furthest left suggestions made in today’s hyper-partisan climate is sure to be red meat for his base despite its lack of nuance or actual fact.