TAMPA, Florida – Vice President Mike Pence is sending a strong message to pro-lifers: Wake up! Because the destiny of the Supreme Court lies in the 2020 election. In an exclusive interview with CBN News, Pence called Chief Justice John Roberts "a disappointment to conservatives" and called on Joe Biden to step up to the plate and debate President Trump.
A humid, August trip to Florida seemed the perfect place for Pence to turn up the heat and motivate the base. At one of his signature "Faith in America" campaign events, he spelled out the stakes in the upcoming election.
"The question is not whether our country will be Republican or Democrat or blue or red, but whether America will still be America," he said.
In our time together on the road, the vice president was animated throughout, lowering the boom, especially with his thoughts on what a Joe Biden presidency could mean for the country.
"Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been overtaken by the radical left," Pence said. "He's calling for a historic increase in funding to Planned Parenthood of America. He would appoint activist judges to our courts, who would literally trample on the progress that we've made on life and religious liberties."
And speaking of the courts, the vice president made very clear that the Supreme Court will be of paramount importance in this election, especially because he sees a chief justice who can no longer be counted on to be a reliable conservative.
"Look, we have great respect for the institution of the Supreme Court of the United States. But Chief Justice John Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives," Pence told CBN News.
He cites multiple examples, from Roberts's key 2012 decision to uphold Obamacare to his more recent decision to side with liberals to strike down a modest Louisiana pro-life law.
"I think it's been a wake-up call for pro-life voters around the country who understand, in a very real sense, the destiny of the Supreme Court is on the ballot in 2020," Pence said.
He sees religious freedom under attack as well after Roberts joined liberals again just last week. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled against a Nevada church, upholding a limit on the number of people attending church services during COVID-19.
Many Americans, not just religious Americans, are concerned about where this is going from a religious freedom standpoint, specifically as it relates to COVID-19.
"Well look, our nation has been through a very challenging time. And we're still working our way through the coronavirus pandemic. But you don't give up your constitutional liberties, even in a pandemic," Pence said.
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To be sure, the pandemic will be a major factor for both sides in this election. Here in Florida, a recent COVID spike is hopefully giving way to a slow return to normal. But in this election cycle, the only thing we know for sure is nothing is normal.
Gone are the big campaign events of the past, replaced by smaller gatherings like the one that Pence attended at Starkey Road Baptist Church in Florida, part of the "Life Wins" tour.
"Under this president, I promise you we're going to continue to work every day to put the right to life back at the center of law," he said.
President Trump and his VP are hoping for an all-hands-on-deck approach to beat a candidate who, according to many polls, is leading the race. But will Biden be a match for Trump in the upcoming debates? Some Democrats have called for Biden to skip them and Trump supporters believe the 77-year-old has a lost a step or two, becoming slower.
"I can't speak to some of what's being discussed about him today. But the antidote is to be on that stage, to square up and be willing to debate President Donald Trump, the American people deserve nothing less," Pence challenged.
They also deserve a fair election. Democrats want massive mail-in balloting across the country, something the Trump administration says is fraught with all sorts of problems, like the large numbers of invalidated mail-in votes in states like New York and California.
"Democrat governors around the country, using the excuse of the coronavirus pandemic, are talking about mailing ballots to literally everyone in their state, with no safeguard for the integrity of the process," Pence said. "That principle of one person, one vote is at the center of our democracy, and we've got to defend it. That's why you're going to see this president and our administration head straight to the courthouse. We're going to oppose universal mail-in voting even while we encourage and respect the great tradition of absentee balloting and we're going to win that fight. I truly do believe it."
EXCLUSIVE FULL INTERVIEW: David Brody One on One With VP Mike Pence
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