Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday compared Donald Trump to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., claiming both leaders have inspired Americans to change through the legislative process.
The vice president’s stunning remarks came during a segment on Sunday’s Face The Nation.
CBS host Margaret Brennan pressed Pence on the president’s latest offer to end the partial government shutdown, which involves trading extended protections for DACA recipients for a wall on the southern U.S.-Mexico border. Before Trump officially made the proposal on Saturday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejected it in a statement where she called the deal “unacceptable,” a “non-starter” and stated that it did not “represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives”.
“If this is a genuine attempt at ending the shutdown] why weren’t any Democrats included in the consultations?” Brennan asked Pence on Sunday.
The vice president responded by reciting Trump administration talking points before adding a surprise comparison of the president to Martin Luther King Jr. to sell the proposed border wall, saying that, like MLK, Trump has also “inspired us to change.”
“You think of how he changed America, he inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union,” he said. “That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do, come to the table in a spirit of good faith.”
Pence’s comments come on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday marking the birthday of the influential American civil rights movement leader and celebrating his life and achievements.
The government shutdown is now on it’s 29th day with no resolution in sight, the shutdown—which has left around 800,000 federal employees either furloughed or working unpaid—became the longest in U.S. history.