Vice President Mike Pence invoked the memory of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a bizarre attempt to promote President Donald Trump‘s border wall demands.
In a Sunday interview with CBS News, host Margaret Brennan pressed Pence on Trump’s latest offer to end his partial federal government shutdown, which includes temporary protection for the DACA recipients that Trump himself ordered could be eligible for deportation.
“So what the president has directed us to do is to reach out with rank-and-file Democrats in the House and in the Senate,” Pence explained. “What the president presented yesterday really is an effort to bring together ideas from both political parties. I think it is an act of statesmanship on the president’s part.”
“And honestly,” he said, “the hearts and minds of the American people are thinking a lot today about [this] being the weekend we remember the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
“One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make real the promises of Democracy,’” Pence said, quoting from Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech.
“You think of how he changed America, he inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do, come to the table in a spirit of good faith.”
Pence was quoting a passage from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech:
This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Many on Twitter did not take kindly to Pence’s comparison:
Mike Pence just quoted MLK to justify their racist monument on the border
— Sarah Horrocks (@mercurialblonde) January 20, 2019
I mean, Democrats usually don’t even have the chutzpah to say “MLK would have wanted us to pass this [unrelated to civil or voting rights] bill”!
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) January 20, 2019
Blind to irony: Mike Pence uses an MLK quote on racial justice to support Trump’s policy of racial discrimination. https://t.co/f6h8YVrMr1
— Pitt Griffin (@pittgriffin) January 20, 2019
Jesus Christ…#Individual1 is NOTHING like Martin Luther King Jr. and there is nothing “inspiring” about a wall.
I certainly don’t think that MLK would be inspired by a damn wall. https://t.co/EPGKprxnM2
— ✊🏻 LilMzResistanista ✊🏻 (@bruntofitall) January 20, 2019
Good thing Pence stopped where he did “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children”
— Louis Kersten (@louisvk) January 20, 2019