DES MOINES, Iowa – With 33 days to go until Election Day, Vice President Mike Pence made his fifth trip to Iowa in 2020. Pence ended his time in Des Moines speaking at a “Faith in Leadership” event hosted by the FAMiLY Leadership Foundation.
This event followed his first stop in Carter Lake, Iowa, a suburb of Omaha, Neb., where he spoke to 277 people at a PVS Structures warehouse.
Approximately 600 people attended the in-person event, which was capped to allow social distancing. The FAMiLY Leader also live-streamed the event to let others watch online.
Following an introduction by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Pence said he preferred a shorter introduction.
“I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,” he said to applause.
Pence pointed to America’s rich faith heritage after commending The FAMiLY Leader’s work and its leader, Bob Vander Plaats.
“Even a casual study of the history of this nation shows the people of faith have made the difference throughout our country’s history from the very founding of the nation: the Robed Regiments of the American Revolution, the preachers of revival in our great awakenings, the way that the pulpits of America thundered for abolition of slavery and led the Civil Rights Movement. It has been people of faith, I believe with all of my heart, who have led us toward a more perfect union. And I want to congratulate and thank each and every one of you for being a part of continuing that great American tradition,” he said.
Even though the FAMiLY Leader Foundation said the event was not a campaign rally, Pence slipped into campaign mode.
He lauded President Donald Trump’s debate performance and
“I don’t know if y’all had a chance to see that debate night before last? I’ll tell you what, if you ever doubted that we had a fighter in the White House, you don’t doubt it anymore. President Donald Trump took our case to the American people and he took the fight to Joe Biden,” he said, adding that he looked forward to the Vice Presidential debate in Salt Lake City next week.
Pence said that President Trump kept the promises he made by rebuilding the military.
“And with that renewed American strength, under the President’s leadership, our armed forces have taken the fight to radical Islamic terrorists on our terms, on their soil,” he said.
“Where Joe Biden sent pallets of cash to the mullahs in Iran, President Donald Trump got us out of the Iranian nuclear deal. And I was there when President Donald Trump, without hesitation, gave the order to take out the world’s most dangerous terrorist, and Qasem Soleimani is gone,” Pence added.
He cited the tax cuts the President signed and how the Trump Administration worked to roll back onerous federal regulations.
Pence citing Trump’s appointments to the federal bench, said, “As I stand before you today, we’ve seen confirmed more than 230 conservative judges to our federal courts at every level. And I can tell you, they are all men and women who will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution, like the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
He spoke of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and put Senate Democrats on notice.
“We challenge Democrats in the Senate to provide Judge Barrett with a respectful and dignified hearing and to give America the kind of confirmation process the American people deserve,” Pence said.
He reminded those present of the attacks on Barrett’s faith during her confirmation hearing for her appointment to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Noting that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointed out to Barrett, “the dogma lives loudly within you.”
“Well, I got news for the Democrats and the Hollywood elites: That dogma lives loudly in me. That dogma lives loudly in hundreds of millions of Americans. And every American who cherishes faith has the right to live and work and worship according to the dictates of our faith and conscience enshrined in the Constitution of the United States,” Pence said.
“The American people cherish the freedom of religion of every American and every faith. And these attacks on Judge Barrett’s faith must stop,” he added.
“But I’ll tell you, we’re going to fill that seat and Judge Amy Coney Barrett is going to be Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court of the United States,” Pence added.
Pence contrasted President Trump’s response to rioting that accompanied protesting calling for police reform and even police defunding with the reaction of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“You know, the truth is Joe Biden would actually double down on the policies that have led to violence in America’s cities. You know, when you withdraw support for those who serve and protect, I believe that you embolden those who threaten our families and our peace in the streets,” he said.
“Joe Biden actually says that America is, in his words, ‘systemically racist’ and that law enforcement has, and I quote, an ‘implicit bias’ against minorities. When Joe Biden was asked if he’d support cutting funding for law enforcement, he replied, ‘Yes, absolutely.’ And his running mate said again, earlier this week, that it was time to, quote, ‘reimagine law enforcement,” Pence added. “Well, let me make you a promise: Under President Donald Trump, we’re not going to reimagine anything; we’re going to back the blue. And we’re not going to defund the police — not now, not ever.”
He reminded the audience that Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, “the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel.”
Pence also pointed out recently two Arab nations formally recognized Israel. “And we believe more are on the way,” he said.
He mentioned the President’s pro-life bona fides such as reinstating the Mexico City Policy that bans taxpayer funding of abortion and promotion of abortion overseas, and becoming the first president to address the March for Life in person,
Pence contrasted Trump’s record with Biden’s support for repealing the Hyde Amendment that bans taxpayer funding of abortion, a reversal from his previous position.
As Vice President, Pence has cast the tie-breaking vote several times. “But I got to tell you, the one I’m proudest of was the day I was able to cast the tie-breaking vote in the United States Senate to allow states to defund Planned Parenthood. And President Donald Trump signed it into law,” he said to a standing ovation.
He pointed out the Trump Administration’s work to protect religious liberty, including stopping the Johnson Amendment enforcement, protecting Americans’ right to conscience, and ending the “assault” on the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Pence said all of that would be reversed under a Biden Administration.
“These attacks on the freedom of religion must stop in America. And with four more years, we will stand for the religious freedom of every American of every faith,” he said.
Pence outlined what he believed was at stake for this election.
“I believe that when you look at their agenda, it’s clear that Joe Biden would be nothing more than a Trojan horse for the radical left,” he claimed.
“I think between now and November 3rd, it’s not going to be so much whether we — we end up more Republican or more Democrat, more liberal and more conservative, more red or more blue. I think the choice we face in this nation, in this year, is whether America remains America. It’s whether we’re going to chart a course for our children and grandchildren, and a future that’s based on the timeless ideals enshrined in our constitution — our belief in free enterprise and free market and the American Dream — or whether — whether we’re going to take that hard left turn — the well-worn path to government control and a managed economy: the path to socialism,” Pence added.
Pence also encouraged people to pray.
“I believe more than ever that people of faith should pray. And coming here today, I want to encourage you: Practice that prayer in a renewed way. As we think of the challenges and the times in which we live, the more than 200,000 of our countrymen that have been lost; we think of the grief of those families who have always been on our hearts, those that are struggling with disease today; as we think of the economic hardship that people still face in the midst of the recovery that’s underway; we think of the violence besetting families in our major cities, let’s — let’s claim that ancient promise that if His people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray and turn, that He’ll do like he’s always done in the long and storied history of this country. He’ll hear from Heaven, and he’ll heal this land,” he said.
After recounting when he gave his life to Christ as a young man, in closing, Pence encouraged Christians gathered to hold fast to Christ.
“And I believe with all my heart that if we will hold fast to Him, if we will hold fast to His promises, if we will hold up the example and the strength that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, that it will once again be people of faith that see our way through these challenging times; that a hope and a future awaits beyond anything we could ask or imagine. And the best days for Iowa and America, by God’s grace, are yet to come,” he concluded.