Vice President Mike Pence, the Trump administration’s liason to the Christian right, spoke today at the annual summit of Christians United for Israel, a right-wing evangelical group whose support for Israel is tied to the belief that the country will be ground zero for the apocalypse. Pence used part of his speech at this meeting of religious minds to criticize Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and defend throwing kids into concentration camps.
Pence, responding to Ocasio-Cortez’s comment that the detention centers housing migrant kids are concentration camps, falsely said that Ocasio-Cortez compared the plight of migrants to the Holocaust, and boy did it rile up his extremely bad audience.
“We must preserve the memory of those lost [in the Holocaust] for future generations. And in that same spirit, we must never let the memory of those lost in the Holocaust to be cheapened as a cliche to advance some left-wing political narrative,” Pence said to cheers at the conference.
Referring to Ocasio-Cortez as a “leading Democrat in Congress” and to comments Rep. Rashida Tlaib made on Sunday agreeing that conditions at the centers are like concentration camps, Pence wrongly claimed that the two were comparing the situation to “the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.” Ocasio-Cortez did no such thing; during Tlaib’s interview, neither her nor ABC News’ Martha Raddatz mentioned the Holocaust or Nazi Germany.
“To compare the humane work of the dedicated men and women of Customs and Border Protection with the horrors of the Holocaust is an outrage,” Pence said. “The Nazis took lives, American law enforcement save lives every day.”
Seems wrong, broadly speaking, but if you want to limit it to immigration cops, CNN reported last week that 12 people have died in U.S. custody since last September. It doesn’t seem to matter that some concentration camp survivors, their families, and some people who study genocide and/or the Holocaust for a living also think the comparison is apt; if Mike Pence and Liz Cheney and the like can weaponize it, they surely will.
“Make no mistake about it: this slander of law enforcement was an insult to the six million killed in the Holocaust, and it should be condemned by every American of every political party everywhere,” Pence continued. “I promise you: President Donald Trump and I will always honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and we will always honor the service of the brave men and women of law enforcement all across this country.”
Later this week, Pence is visiting the southern border along with a delegation from the Senate Judiciary committee, so gear up for some more fake outrage.