Former Vice President Mike Pence criticized President Joe Biden over the weekend for insisting that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate was “not about freedom.”
Pence spoke Saturday night at the Washington County GOP’s Annual Reagan Day Dinner in Hillsboro, Oregon, KATU reported. “I would encourage every American to get vaccinated, but that’s your choice,” Pence told the people in attendance.
“Joe Biden also said, ‘This is not about freedom,’ but America is about freedom. We will not allow American liberty to be a causality of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Biden signed an executive order last month requiring all government employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He also required companies with more than 100 employees to have their workers vaccinated or tested weekly.
Pence and his wife received vaccinations publicly in December of 2020.
The former vice president challenged Republicans to show the country that Oregon does have conservative ideals after last year’s anti-police protests in Portland.
He also spoke out against “critical race theory” and Biden’s infrastructure plans, KOIN said.
Critical race theory is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in American law intended to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that the U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist.
Pence, considered a potential contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, was the dinner’s keynote speaker. The Washington County GOP aimed to energize the party in a state where many supporters feel like their voices have been lost at the state and federal level, KPTV reported.
Democrats hold a super majority in both chambers of the Oregon state legislature.
Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ore., is the only Republican in the five-member Oregon House delegation.
Bentz said Pence’s presence showed there was a renewed interest by the national party in the state.
“I think that sends a signal that Oregon matters and that the republicans in Oregon matter,” Bentz said, KPTV reported. “And right after what we have seen in the redistricting here, a lot of Republicans are thinking they don’t matter and, you know what, we do.”
Late last month at a forum devoted to demographics and family values in Budapest, Hungary, Pence said that he was hopeful the Supreme Court soon would overturn abortion rights in the U.S.