Pence on Kavanaugh: Senate Will Handle in Appropriate Way
One of the highlights of this week’s 2018 Values Voter Summit will be Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance at the event on Saturday morning. I spoke with the vice president yesterday on my Washington Watch radio program about his upcoming VVS speech, and the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Florence. As our conversation turned to the topic of Judge Brett Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court, I asked the vice president if he was concerned by the delays we’re seeing and the allegations that have been made and if that would have the effect of derailing the nomination.
Vice President Pence responded:
“Let me just say to begin with that I had the opportunity to meet Judge Kavanaugh before the president made a decision, and to review his record. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a man of integrity, deeply committed to his family, with a lifetime of service to this country in a variety of roles. On the District of Columbia Court of Appeals more than 300 opinions that reflect a strong and principled judicial philosophy that again interprets statutes as written, will interpret the Constitution as written, will not legislate from the bench, and we believe that he will make an outstanding justice to the Supreme Court of the United States.
"That being said, as President Trump has said over the last several days, with the allegations that have emerged, it’s important that we give it time, that we hear from both sides, and we have every confidence that Senator Grassley and the Republicans in the Senate will handle these allegations properly. I know Senator Grassley has laid forward a range of options from an open session hearing to a closed session to private staff interviews, and they’ve already — the staff and the judiciary committee has already begun following up on leads — following Dr. Ford’s allegations. And that’s all very important.
"And again — we’re confident the Senate will handle it, but that being said, what Senator Diane Feinstein has done here — what Democrats in the Senate have done here — is very unfair to Judge Brett Kavanaugh and it is a great disservice to the process. The fact that Senator Feinstein apparently had this letter more than six weeks ago, never raised the issue in her interview with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, never brought the issue to the attention of other members of the judiciary committee, it’s a great disservice to the process, and to the American people, and of course to Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family.
"And frankly, it follows on conduct by many Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who I think virtually embarrassed themselves during the public hearings that were on display just a few short days ago. So, that being said, I would just say the president and I believe that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will make an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court of the United States. We’re very confident that the Senate will handle this all in a proper and appropriate way.
Originally published here.
Religious Freedom is beyond Partisan
Tuesday afternoon, Politico ran the headline "Pompeo raises eyebrows with appearance at politically charged event.” Yes, you guessed it — that event is this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, which Politico reports is sponsored by the “deeply conservative Family Research Council.” The 1,257 word article goes on to cite various past State Department officials who express concern about Secretary Mike Pompeo addressing a “partisan affair.” Politico said it couldn’t find evidence of past secretaries of state speaking at similar events. However, a quick Google search reveals that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at a Planned Parenthood gala in 2009 and the Center for American Progress in 2011.
As I noted on my radio show Tuesday night, Secretary Clinton’s speech praised Planned Parenthood and promised to make international family planning (including abortion) a top global policy goal. “I want to assure you that reproductive rights…will be a key to the foreign policy of this administration.” She described a new age of integrating “family planning” and diplomacy. “At the end of the next four years, I hope we’ll be able to look around the world and see that… organizations like Planned Parenthood will be our partners.” Over the last three election cycles, Planned Parenthood entities have spent $ 38 million on elections — making the group even more political than Family Research Council.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert responded in a statement to the Daily Signal, "If speaking about protecting human rights and liberty, including highlighting the persecution of Christians, Jews, Uighurs Muslims and other religious minorities around the world is considered wrong or offensive, then we as a nation have truly lost our way. Secretary Pompeo will continue to advance US foreign policy interests as he continues to advocate on behalf of the oppressed.“
Mike Pompeo’s actions back up these words. I have seen first-hand that Secretary Pompeo has made international religious freedom a foreign policy priority — a matter which is especially important given that we now know religious freedom, long protected for its own sake, is also intricately connected to the security and prosperity of nations.
We will only have sustainable, long-term peace if America actually makes religious freedom a foreign policy priority. Mike Pompeo understands this and is why he organized the State Department’s first ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom — a gathering that brought foreign government leaders together to "identify concrete ways…to ensure greater respect for religious freedom for all.” One of those concrete ways is to increase awareness of and engagement on behalf of persecuted religious minorities. Almost every day we learn of more horrific incidents of persecution — such as a Pakistani Christian killed in a brutal acid attack or continued attacks on Rohingya Muslims.
I applaud Pompeo for drawing the world’s attention to these crimes against humanity. With national security expert Pompeo at the helm, and Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback working with him, I believe we will be celebrating international religious freedom accomplishments years down the road.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.