CPAC Gives Mike Pence a Standing Ovation: 'We Will Never Be a Socialist Country!'

Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) sponsored by the American Conservative Union held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, MD on February 22, 2018 (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

OXON HILL, Md. — On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with a powerful denunciation of socialism, repeating President Donald Trump’s declaration that America “will never be a socialist country.”

“Today Democrats openly advocate an economic system that has impoverished millions of people across the world. Under the guise of Medicare-for-all and a Green New Deal, Democrats are embracing the same tired economic theories that have impoverished nations and stifled the liberties of millions,” Pence declared.

Citing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2020, Pence noted that “it’s not just him.”

He said the socialism advocated by Democrats would not be anything “new,” but rather “more of the same: more taxes, more spending, more government, and less freedom.”

“It was freedom, not socialism, that gave us the most prosperous economy in the history of the world,” the vice president said. “It was freedom, not socialism, that gave us the highest quality of life, the cleanest environment on earth, and improved the health and well-being of millions across the world.”

“What Medicare-for-all really means is quality health care for none. The only thing green about the so-called Green New Deal is how much green it’s going to cost taxpayers if these people pass it into law,” Pence argued. “The truth is they want to make rich people poorer, we want to make poor people richer.”

The vice president quoted President Trump, “America will never be a socialist country!” At this, the crowd went wild with applause and chants of “USA! USA!”

“We know where socialism leads. You want socialism? Just look at Venezuela,” Pence said. “Today, more than nine out of ten people live in poverty in that once-rich country.”

“The struggle in Venezuela is between socialism and freedom,” the vice president declared. “The truth is, Venezuela needs what America has. Venezuela needs freedom.”

As Pence’s speech turned toward the issue of socialism, C-SPAN 2 cut away from CPAC to cover something else. Americans who wanted to keep watching had to turn to Fox News’s live stream on YouTube or PBS News Hour’s live stream below.

The vice president concluded his speech on a powerful note of hope. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. So freedom always wins,” he declared, quoting 2 Corinthians 3:17.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.