AP

Eyeing 2020, White House Steps Up ‘Socialism’ Attack On Dems

Mar 1, 2019, 1:40 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:15 pm
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during CPAC 2019 March 1, 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosts the annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the White House gears up for the 2020 campaign, it’s pressing the case that Democrats are rallying behind what it’s calling the policies of “socialism.”

Trying to portray Democrats as out of step with ordinary Americans, Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the choice in the next election is “between freedom and socialism, between personal responsibility and government dependence.”

It was the latest step in a coordinated effort by President Donald Trump and his allies to drive up enthusiasm among the GOP base by sowing fears about the policies pushed by Democrats.

“The moment America becomes a socialist country is the moment America ceases to be America,” Pence told the crowd of conservative activists.

Pence also took aim at “Medicare-for-all” and the Green New Deal, policy proposals prominent in the crowded Democratic contest for the presidential nomination.

The Medicare proposal really means “quality health care for none,” Pence said. And “the only thing green” about the Democrats’ environmental framework to combat climate change, the vice president said, “is how much green it’s going to cost taxpayers if we do it: $90 trillion.”

The American Action Forum, a Republican-linked think tank, has estimated that the Green New Deal could cost $51 trillion to $93 trillion over 10 years. Democrats have not specified a price tag, though Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who introduced the plan along with Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, said it would be “the same way we paid for the original New Deal, World War II, the bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich and decades of war — with public money appropriated by Congress.”

The health care and climate proposals have become litmus tests in the race for the Democratic nomination, with many liberals embracing the ideas even as some pragmatists raise questions about cost and feasibility.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said at the conference Thursday that Americans should “put socialism on trial and then convict it.” Trump was expected to deliver a similar message when he addresses the conference on Saturday.

A Trump campaign official said the campaign was exploring ways to use the “socialism” message to drive a wedge between Democratic voters and independents. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal planning.

The campaign also believes that the attacks will activate Trump’s base, which may have lost some motivation because the president has run into congressional opposition as he tries to fulfill his U.S.-Mexico border wall promise.

The head of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, told the conference on Thursday that the GOP would look to “go out and educate” voters about socialism.

Responding to Pence’s socialism accusation, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said, “This is no surprise. It’s nonsense, but Donald Trump and Donald Trump’s minions will do whatever they think helps Donald Trump. That’s all that’s going on here.”

Pence called Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who is making a second run for the Democratic presidential nomination, an “avowed socialist,” though Sanders identifies as a “democratic socialist,” calling for sweeping social programs to help reduce income inequality. Pence added Sanders that epitomized Democratic candidates and officials who “have papered over the failed policies of socialism with bumper-sticker slogans and slick social media campaigns.”

The White House has tried to cite the political chaos in Venezuela, where moderates backed by the Trump administration are challenging the socialist government of Nicholas Maduro after years of economic collapse, as a warning sign about the consequences of Democratic policies in the United States.

A Gallup poll from last August found that 37 percent of Americans feel positive about socialism, a share little changed over the past decade. Nearly 6 in 10 Democrats (57 percent) reported having a positive view of socialism, more than three times the share of Republicans (16 percent).

According to Gallup, young adults are especially likely to view socialism positively. About half of Americans under 30 (51 percent) and 41 percent of those age 30 to 49 reported feeling positive, compared with about 3 in 10 of those 50 and older.

___

Associated Press writers Alexandra Jaffe and Hannah Fingerhut in Washington and Tom Beaumont in Dubuque, Iowa, contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

This booking image provided by the Chicago Police Department, shows Eva Bratcher, who has been accu...
Associated Press

Daughter charged after mom’s body found in Chicago freezer

A Chicago woman is accused of keeping her mother’s dead body in a freezer for nearly two years while living in a nearby apartment.
1 day ago
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) leaves her office at the Longworth House Office Building on February 02...
Kevin Freking and Lisa Mascaro

House GOP votes to oust Democrat Omar from major committee

House Republicans have voted to oust Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
1 day ago
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast at the U.S. Capitol on F...
Colleen Long and Chris Megerian, Associated Press

Biden urges unity at prayer breakfast under new management

President Joe Biden attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday in Washington and delivered a message of unity.
1 day ago
FILE: Groundhog handler AJ Derume holds Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow, predicting a late sp...
Associated Press

Phil’s Groundhog Day prediction: 6 more weeks of winter

A furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town has predicted six more weeks of winter during an annual Groundhog Day celebration.
1 day ago
Law enforcement officers aim their weapons at a home during a standoff in Grants Pass, Ore., on Tue...
Associated Press

Oregon kidnapping suspect dies of self-inflicted gunshot

The suspect in a violent kidnapping in Oregon has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
2 days ago
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference after a Federal Open M...
Christopher Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

Fed lifts rate by quarter-point and signals more hikes ahead

The Federal Reserve extended its fight against high inflation Wednesday by raising its key interest rate by a quarter-point, its eighth hike since March.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Eyeing 2020, White House Steps Up ‘Socialism’ Attack On Dems