Former Vice President Mike Pence declined an invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week, CPAC Communications Director Ian Walters confirmed to this reporter Monday.
“We invited him and he did not take us up on the invitation,” Walters said, adding that this is the first time in 18 years that Pence will not speak at CPAC.
“I do know that he has been speaking at CPAC for a long time. My recollection is the first time was in 2003 when he was a House member,” Walters said.
“There’s a great deal of affection for him among grassroots conservative activists,” Walters added.
In an interview with USA Today, CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp expressed his regrets that Pence will not be in attendance.
“His conservative record is well respected, and conservatives want to hear his take on the current threats posed by socialism and this radicalized Democrat party,” Schlapp told USA Today, adding that it’s a “mistake” for Pence to not speak at the conference.
Pence has regularly spoken at the conference in previous years, however, a source told CNN that the former vice president is looking to stay under the radar for six months.
A Pence aide told Fox News Sunday that the former vice president has been intentionally keeping a low profile, focusing on family and his new charity partnerships.
The conference begins Thursday in Orlando, Fl, and it has has been labeled one of the year’s most important conservative political gatherings.
The conference will end Sunday, with former President Trump scheduled to give the closing remarks in his first public appearance since leaving the White House.
Sources familiar with the matter confirmed to The Hill that the former president will speak about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. He is also expected to condemn President Biden’s immigration platform.
Fox News reported that Pence is still harboring “bitterness” toward Trump after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol building, according to members of Pence’s team.
However, Walters did not comment on if Pence’s decision to not attend the conference had anything to do with Trump’s attendance.
“That’s really more of a question for Pence’s side to answer. I’m not sure what their thinking is. I’m not directly in touch with anybody in his office so anything I would say would be speculative,” Walters said.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.
But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.
Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19
The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.
Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China
The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”
Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World
The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”
In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.
While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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