IIP Photo Archive / Flickr mike pence with microphone...
IIP Photo Archive / Flickr

Mike Pence recently sent the political punditry world on fire when he addressed the National Governors Association and made the outrageous and fictitious claim that the disastrous Republican wealthcare bill “strenghtened and secured Medicaid.” 

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In fact, the Republican bill would slash nearly $1 trillion and devastate Medicaid funding and the citizens, mostly children, elderly and the disabled who rely on it:

The results, according to independent analyses, would be major reductions in federal spending on Medicaid over time. States would be left deciding whether to raise more money to make up the difference, or to cut back on medical coverage for people using the program. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the changes would lead to a reduction in spending on Medicaid of more than $800 billion over a decade.

During the same speech, he offered up another lie to the audience, claiming 60,000 disabled citizens in Ohio are on waiting lists for health care. Ohio Governor John Kasich’s spokesperson immediately responded calling Pence’s claim “false” and “fake news.”

But Mike Pence, a self-proclaimed “prayer warrior” who touts his firm Christian beliefs at every turn cannot seem to stop publicly lying. Below are examples of some of his most egregious public lies. 

In 2002, Colin Powell participated in an MTV international youth forum and “strongly advocated” the use of condoms as a means of preventing HIV transmission and other sexually transmitted diseases. In response, then Congressman Mike Pence went on CNN:

WOLF BLITZER: What’s wrong with what Secretary Powell have to say about endorsing condom use for those who are sexually active?

REP. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: Well, Wolf, I think it was — given the enormous stature that Colin Powell rightly has, not only in America but in the world community, it was a sad day. I don’t think any administration has had a worst day since boxers and briefs on MTV. And the truth is that Colin Powell had an opportunity here to reaffirm this president’s commitment to abstinence as the best choice for our young people, and he chose not to do that in the first instance, but — and so I think it’s very sad. The other part is that, frankly, condoms are a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases, and in that sense, Wolf, this was — the secretary of state maybe inadvertently misleading millions of young people and endangering lives.

REP. JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, first of all, the debate isn’t between abstinence and the use of condoms. We’re talking about using condoms to save lives. That’s what Colin Powell pointed out, that we want to save lives. And, of course, it’s not true. Condoms will prevent disease. They are a good way to prevent AIDS. Will they in every instance? No. And that’s why we have to continue the kind of education that should go along with dispensing condoms or encouraging their use. But to say that they shouldn’t use them at all, that’s the option, are we saying you should have unprotected sex or sex with condoms? Obviously, the answer is condoms.

Congresswoman Janice Schakowsy (D-IL) was also on the CNN panel and she absolutely torched Pence, who simply shrugged and called the suggestion to use condoms “too modern” and “liberal.” Seriously, read this exchange:

SCHAKOWSKY: That’s like saying we shouldn’t flu shots because it doesn’t protect against anything else. There are 34 million people in Sub Sahara and Africa alone who are infected with AIDS and millions more in the United States. We’re saying, let’s not make it any worse; we could make it better. This is one way to do it. Is it the cure all, is it the perfect solution? No, but it’s obviously something that will help. This is a — he was making a 21st century, humane and responsible answer to a 21st century problem.

PENCE: The problem is it was too modern of an answer, Wolf. It was — it truly was a modern, liberal answer to a problem that parents like me are facing all over America, and frankly, all over the world.

Mike Pence’s (now archived) website was full of lies, including the doozy that “smoking doesn’t kill” and global warming is a hoax:

“Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill,” he wrote on his old Mike Pence for Congress website in 1998, BuzzFeed first reported more than a year ago.

He warned his readers that the Food and Drug Administration’s tobacco regulation is an action of “big government,” and that a government large “enough to go after smokers is big enough to go after you,” Pence said on his website, according to BuzzFeed.

“Global warming is a myth,” “[Bill] Clinton must be impeached” for a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky and “George Washington was a Republican” round out the list of Pence’s old op-eds.

Politifact has another growing list of more recent Mike Pence lies, like insisting Donald Trump never broke his promise to release his taxes. More recently, he claimed he never knew Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was lobbying on behalf of Turkey, something Paul Waldman said in an op-ed at the Washington Post was highly unlikely:

Pence claimed in March to have just found out about Flynn’s work for Turkey. Yet Rep. Elijah Cummings, Md., the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, sent Pence a letter on Nov. 18 going into considerable detail about Flynn’s Turkey connection. As of yesterday, Pence was standing by his assertion that he only learned about it in March.

As leader of the transition, it was Pence’s job to make sure that things such as appointing a national security adviser with troubling ties to foreign governments didn’t happen. So his defense in the Flynn matter comes down to: I was doing a terrible job leading the transition and had no idea what was going on.

His current boss aside, you’d be hard-pressed to name another politician who so openly and freely spews one lie after another. The GOP fish is indeed rotting from the head. 

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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