As Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris get ready to debate tonight (moderated by USA Today's Susan Page), we at NewsBusters thought it would be helpful to remind our readers of the stark contrast in how the press has treated both VP candidates. Whereas Harris was greeted into the political world with high praise, Pence has been the target of vicious anti-Christian bigotry throughout his career.
When he was announced four years ago, the devout Christian Mike Pence was derided by the media as “churchy” (as if that’s a bad thing). His liberal Democratic counterpart Tim Kaine was mis-identified as a “moderate” and a “centrist,” while Pence garnered “staunch conservative” labels. The attacks on Pence’s faith began when he was Indiana Governor and continued throughout his political career up to his current term as Vice President.
In contrast, Kamala Harris’s path to the vice presidential nominee status was paved with plaudits and rose petals from the liberal press for the Democratic “Dream Team.” Joe Biden’s selection of the California senator was hyped as “Hope Reborn” and a “terrific” choice that will make Vice President Mike Pence nervous about his upcoming debate. Liberal journalists were also confident that Harris would ultimately overcome the “kitchen sink” of “racism and sexism” that would be hurled at her by Donald Trump.
The following are worst attacks on Pence followed by the media’s love of Harris, as culled from the MRC’s archives:
HATE FOR MIKE PENCE
Does Trump Really Want a “Churchy” Guy on His Ticket?
“Here’s what I think. I think it’s [Indiana Governor] Pence. I think [Mike] Pence is almost horny for the job. It’s clear that he wants it. It’s clear that he thinks it’s his....Can he [Donald Trump] put up with a churchy guy like Pence? Pence is so churchy. I mean, the only thing about Donald Trump, he can say all he wants about religion, he ain’t churchy. That’s one thing he’s not.”
— Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, July 12, 2016.
Pence Protecting Religious Freedom Just Like Segregation
“What you get is that incredibly awkward stonewalling by [Indiana Governor] Mike Pence yesterday, where he cannot answer a simple question whether or not the state of Indiana should be able to discriminate against gays and lesbians. This puts him in the same position as George Wallace was a generation ago.”
— CNN political analyst and Daily Beast editor John Avlon on CNN’s New Day, March 30, 2015.
Pence = “Dangerous” Christian With “Mental Illness”
Co-host Sunny Hostin: “When you have a Mike Pence, that now sort of puts this religious veneer on things and calls people values voters, I think we’re in a dangerous situation. Look I’m Catholic. I’m a faithful person, but I don’t know that I want my Vice President speaking in tongues and having Jesus speak to him.”...
Co-host Joy Behar: “Like I said before, it’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you....That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”
— ABC’s The View, February 13, 2018.
Do You “Talk to God” About Those Who Died Because You Acted Late on Coronavirus?
“When you talk to God in your moments alone, do you find yourself worrying at all that people you represent and care deeply about have died and will die — who did not need to — because of steps the federal government did not take soon enough?”
— Co-host Byron Pitts to Vice President Mike Pence about White House’s coronavirus response as aired on ABC’s Nightline, April 1, 2020.
Pence “Sounds Like” and “Looks Like” a Bigot
“Do not go there, Governor Pence. This is ridiculous. He totally stepped in it. Politically terrible. People are calling him a bigot because it sounds like one and looks like one. I'm sorry.”
— Co-host Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, April 1, 2015.
Put Pence and His ‘Lunatic Fringe’ In Exile
“And in what would be the biggest threat of all, the NCAA ought to tell Gov. Mike Pence and his lunatic-fringe lawmakers that it no longer feels at home in Indiana and will look at moving its headquarters from Indianapolis to a state where God-given diversity is something to be celebrated rather than feared.”
— USA Today’s Nancy Armour in March 26, 2015 column “NCAA’s moves should be out of Indiana.”
CRAZY IN LOVE WITH KAMALA
Mike Pence Is Shaking in His Boots
“She’s so impressive. The clips you ran a little while ago of her work in which she did share a committee — the way she could prosecute people like William Barr and Jeff Sessions and, you know, these are tough birds that she’s able to really put on the hot seat. I would be very fearful of her. I imagine that if you’re Mike Pence right now recognizing that this is who you’re going to have to debate on issues of substance. I have a feeling she’ll make mincemeat of him….It’s going to be a disaster for the Trump team because she is, in my mind, the finest prosecutor I’ve ever seen in my life of watching politics and Washington lawmakers. She’s just unbelievably smart, articulate, and good.”
— CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley on CNN Tonight, August 11.
WH Reporter’s Non-Endorsement Endorsement of “Madame Vice President”
“Have you seen this shirt? [Holds up t-shirt that reads ‘The Next VP Will Look Like Me.’]....I can’t wear it, I can’t endorse, but a lot of people feel very good that history is here. And I’m gonna say this: For 23 years, I’ve been at the White House and I’ve seen history, I’ve seen the first black President of the United States of America and I called him ‘Mr. President.’ But if you come there in January, and I get to raise my — please answer my question — if I raise my hand, I get to say ‘Madame Vice President.’ Do you know that sends chills through me? And you look like me! Does that give you chills?...I can’t endorse, but what I say is if I get to say ‘Madame Vice President,’ that’s gonna send chills through me. That’s all I’m gonna say!...Go vote everyone!”
— CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks April Ryan, in an interview with Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris, as streamed on Ryan’s Instagram account, September 21.
Trump Living in Fear of Kamala
“Every single day, every single night of his life, Donald Trump lives in fear of prosecutors. And today Donald Trump got a new prosecutor on his case, the former District Attorney of San Francisco, the former Attorney General of the state of California, and the current Senator and candidate for Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris.”
— Host Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC’s The Last Word, August 12.
Why Is “Obama-equse” Kamala Such a “Terrific” and “Conservative” Choice?
Co-host Anthony Mason: “Why, as you say, would she make a terrific Vice President?”...
Co-host Michelle Miller: “She seems so Obama-esque. She checks so many boxes of representation. Does she galvanize an energy that looks or feels similar to you?”...
Mason: “What does it say to you about the state of the Democratic Party that the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and from India was kind of the conservative choice here?”
— Questions to former President Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett on CBS This Morning, August 12.
Harris Has the Skills to Purge Trump’s White Nationalists From Government
“Somebody’s got to go through and find all of these incompetent, unqualified, corrupt, white nationalist-supporting people that Trump has burrowed into our State Department, burrowed into our Justice Department, and I think Senator Harris would be fantastic at finding those people and removing them. Because she will have the skill set to not only get rid of the officials and the bureaucrats, she can help us impeach some of these judges, these underqualified judges that Donald Trump has managed to push in.”
— MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, August 12.
Going “Wild” For Candidate Who “Cares About Equality Deep Within Her Soul”
“I had her at the ‘Know Your Value’ San Francisco event. The crowd went wild. And she really connected with the women in the audience….She cares about women’s issues. She cares about equality deep within her soul, from her own experience. We’ve had a great time knowing her so far, and it’s kind of exciting, this pick.”
— Co-host Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, August 12.