NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Vice President Mike Pence rallied the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday against socialism, saying “freedom always wins" as he made the case for President Trump’s reelection.
Pence was greeted with cheers and chants of “four more years” and “U-S-A” as he made his 14th appearance at the annual conference.
“Elections are about choices,” Pence said, while saying that the 2020 race will give voters the choice between socialism and freedom.
“The choice has never been clearer, the stakes have never been higher,” Pence said. “Men and women of CPAC, we’ve got work to do. The truth is, it won’t be enough to win the next election. We’ve got to win the next generation.”
“We’ve got to tell the truth about socialism and the benefits of freedom,” he continued. “When many in this rising generation speak of socialism, I believe they think of better health care or better education or a cleaner environment -- but the reality of socialism is very different.”
Pence argued those in the “rising generation” actually “embrace life and liberty.”
“It’s a freedom generation,” Pence said. “People who can hear a song and download it on their phones 10 seconds later? They like freedom.”
He added that “socialism has failed everywhere it’s ever been tried, in every era, on every continent and among every class of people.”
“Freedom works. Socialism doesn’t,” Pence said. “It was freedom, not socialism, that gave us the strongest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world. It was freedom, not socialism, that ended slavery, won two world wars, and has made America a beacon of hope for all mankind. It was freedom.”
Pence went on to warn that “there are no moderates” running for the Democratic presidential nomination, while slamming front-runner and self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for having “honeymooned in the Soviet Union.”
“So as the Democratic Party seeks to nominate and embrace the failed policies of socialism, we must renew our resolve in this year, 2020, and as President Trump said one year ago, America will never be a socialist country,” he said.
Pence went on to tout Trump administration actions since taking office, talking about the “defeat of ISIS,” support for the U.S. military, protections at the border and efforts to back pro-life Americans.
“Every leading Democratic candidate for president said there is no room in today’s Democratic Party for pro-life voters,” Pence said. “To every pro-life American — Republican, independent or Democrat — you have a home in today’s Republican Party.”
Pence told the audience that he came to CPAC Thursday for “one reason and one reason only,” and that was to reelect Trump.
“In four short years, we’ve made America great again. But to keep America great, we need you to decide right here and right now that America is going to vote for four more years of President Trump in the White House,” he said.
“Think about it, four more years means more jobs. Four more years means more judges, four more years means more support for our troops,” Pence said. “It’s going to take at least four more years to drain that swamp.”
He added: “Go talk to your neighbors and friends, talk at school and at work, and talk about the choice that we have. It’s a choice between freedom and socialism, and tell them that we have a freedom-loving president of the United States of America.”
The vice president said Trump is “the real deal” who “means what he says, and says what he means.”
“He never stops fighting to keep the promises he made for all of you,” Pence said. “Now it’s our turn to fight for him. It’s on.”
He added: “When we hold the banner of freedom high, when we make freedom our cause, we make his word on this Earth our own. For where the spirit of the Lord is, there’s freedom. That means freedom always wins.”