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Pence To CPAC: 'Progress Is Driven By The People Who Show Up'

Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence delivered what might have been merely a typical vice-presidential dinner Mike Pence CPACspeech; a main course of patriotic red meat seasoned with a laundry list of the President’s accomplishments.

Except, Pence added a twist to the old dish – a plea for unity on the right to ensure that the conservative agenda that sent Donald Trump to the White House is fulfilled and Republican majorities in Congress are maintained to ensure that the accomplishments of the first year are not stymied by a Democratic takeover of Congress.

Said the Vice President:

AS WE PREPARE FOR THE CHALLENGES AHEAD, LET'S REMEMBER, PROGRESS IS DRIVEN BY THE PEOPLE WHO SHOW UP. YOUR PRESIDENT AND I NEED YOU TO SHOW UP. DEFEND ALL THAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED AND ALL THAT WE HAVE YET TO DO. WE CAN'T TURN BACK NOW. WE CAN'T GIVE ANYTHING LESS THAN EVERYTHING. AMERICA IS COUNTING ON US.

And he pointed out that Democrats are giving nothing away:

BUT THE OTHER SIDE IS MOTIVATED. THEY ARE MOBILIZED. SO, TODAY, TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THIS CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT, I WANT TO ADMONISH YOU. LET THIS BE THE DAY THAT WE, AS A MOVEMENT, DECIDED TO DELIVER ANOTHER VICTORY FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN 2018.

However, the Vice President also added this interesting twist to his call for conservative unity:

I HAVE SEEN THE COURAGE AND CONVICTION THAT DEFINES THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT ALL MY LIFE. AND I SEE IT IN YOUR FACES THIS MORNING. MY FRIENDS, THE TRUTH IS WE LIVE IN A TIME OF WIDENING CHALLENGES AND UNKNOWABLE THREATS. A TIME OF TOO MUCH DIVISION AND TOO MUCH ANGER IN AMERICA. YOU KNOW, IT SEEMS LIKE WE ARE BECOMING MORE AND MORE DISCONNECTED FROM EACH OTHER. TOO OFTEN UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO MEET OUR FELLOW CITIZENS WHERE THEY ARE, TO DO WITH THE PRESIDENT DID YESTERDAY, JUST TO LISTEN TO ONE ANOTHER IN A SPIRIT OF HUMILITY AND RESPECT.

On the surface this paragraph of Vice President Pence’s remarks was merely a call for national unity, however, coming as it did in the section of the speech devoted to rallying conservatives for the 2018 midterm elections and coupled with Pence’s admonition that “Progress is driven by the people who show up” many, including those around us, took it to be a direct appeal to the so-called Never-Trumpers on the Right.

Vice President Pence reinforced his call for conservative unity in this section of the speech in which he asked CPAC attendees to reach over the heads of the establishment media and to bypass other filters to inform the American people directly about the conservative accomplishments of President Trump’s first year:

YOU KNOW, THE CHOICES WE MAKE IN THE DAYS AHEAD AND THE PROMISES WE MAKE TO ONE ANOTHER AND THE ACTIONS WE TAKE WILL SHAPE OUR NATION FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. SO, TODAY, ON BEHALF OF PRESIDENT TRUMP AND OUR ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION, I'M ASKING EVERY MEMBER OF THIS MOVEMENT TO GO BACK HOME TO YOUR COMMUNITIES TO YOUR WORKPLACES, TALK TO YOUR FAMILIES, YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR NEIGHBORS, TELL THEM WHAT THEY DON'T HEAR IN THE MEDIA ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED. TELL THEM HOW THE POLICIES OF THE PRESIDENT ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF AMERICAN FAMILIES AND ENTERPRISES AND IN THE LIFE OF OUR NATION. TELL THEM WE HAVE CUT THEIR TAXES AND PUT MORE MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS. TELL THEM WE ARE RESTORING AMERICAN STRENGTH AT HOME AND ABROAD, SO THEIR FAMILIES CAN SLEEP SAFE AT NIGHT. TELL THEM THAT THANKS TO OUR ADMINISTRATION, CONFIDENCE IS BACK, JOBS ARE COMING BACK, JUST TELL THEM AMERICA IS BACK.

While Vice President Pence’s defiance of the establishment media outlets that criticized him during the Olympics and glorified Kim Jong-un’s sister seemed to get all the press, we think the most important part of his speech was his subtle message to those on the Right who are still sullenly sitting on the sidelines waiting for Trump to fail: “Progress is driven by the people who show up” and the 2018 midterms are your last chance to show up and make a difference.

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Pence's speech

Thank you for covering the VP's speech in this way. It really brings it home.
We have to be a united movement if we want to hold on to the progress we have
made. I was never much of a Trump fan, but I am impressed with what he has
accomplished in spite of himself. Let us not throw away all that we have accomplished because of some nagging resentment that we continue to hold over
him from how he seized control of the Republican Party. In all honesty I think most of the "Never Trumpers" on the Conservative side have been won over. I believe Pence should be giving a similar speech to those on the
GOP left that tend to side with the Democrats and still maintain that this is
and always be a nanny country.

reply to comment on 2-23

I have always supported Trump. The fact that he ran a better race than all the establishment picks and as you put it seized the party made me more than pleased. He was the best candidate and for once we had a real pick, not just another establishment person chosen by the swamp of DC.

Trump is keeping his promises to his supporters despite the denizens of the DC swamp including some of the candidates of the establishment he did out perform. In my view, the GOP candidates were all with only two exceptions hand picked establishment good old boys.

But that said, I have to agree with part of your post.

The ones known as rinos and Never Trump GOP sore losers who are still not converted after a full year of whining are an impediment to the progress that has been made in the first year and that needs to continue. And the leaders of the GOP like Pence do need to corral those of the party still siding with the democrats and end the Nanny State continuance of Obama's fundamental agenda and that of the democrats. That is one of Trump's agenda items I would venture is going to be focused on this coming year based on what Trump has noted recently. It begins with welfare and entitlement reforms and the GOP members need to align correctly and soon.