It has been alleged that former Vice President Mike Pence lifted entire sentences from his former running mate’s speech.
Earlier this week, Pence delivered the controversial speech in New Hampshire. It is widely believed that he is contemplating running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. According to the report published by Politico, the transcript bore an eerie resemblance to a speech delivered by Donald Trump nearly four years prior.
According to his prepared remarks for his speech at the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, Vice President Pence was scheduled to make the following remarks:
“If we want our families and communities to prosper, America must be the best place on earth to work, invest, innovate, build, master a trade, or start a business. We want companies to move to America, stay in America, and hire American workers,” Politico reported.
However, as described by the outlet, this is virtually a word-for-word copy of a previous Trump speech:
“The two-sentence passage is almost identical to words Trump uttered in a speech to the New York Economic Club on Nov. 12, 2019, according to an archived transcript of his remarks from the White House:
‘If we want our families and communities to prosper, America must be the best place on earth to work, invest, innovate, build, pursue a career, hone a craft, or start a business. We want companies to move to America, stay in America, and hire American workers,’” Politico reported.
Politico observed that some changes were made to the speech after this point.
“It is not clear if Pence delivered the remarks as prepared, as the event was not live-streamed. Pence’s and Trump’s speeches did diverge after that passage. ‘We want every American to be able to afford their American dreams,’ Pence said in his prepared remarks ‘But for millions of Americans today, the American Dream is slipping further and further out of reach with each passing day.’
In contrast, Trump stated in 2019, “My mission is to put our country on the very best footing to thrive, excel, compete, and win,” according to Politico.
Pence intended to demonstrate that he was a Republican before Trump by overlapping his prepared remarks. Pence highlighted in his speech a number of policy differences that distinguish him from the Trump administration, including his criticism of his own administration’s “overspending.”
It appears that the similarities between the two speeches are attributable to their respective authors. Prior to beginning work for Pence in 2021, the speechwriter who drafted Pence’s statements was a member of Trump’s inner circle at the time of his remarks to the New York Economic Club. The speechwriter “inadvertently” reused Pence’s own words, according to a person familiar with the speech’s preparation who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly about it. The identity of the speechwriter was concealed by a Pence advisor.
According to a spokesperson for him, the purpose of Pence’s speech in New Hampshire was to distinguish himself from the competition and demonstrate that his campaign is focused on the future. He emphasized the rhetorical, rather than substantive, nature of the passage, which contained repeated statements.
“No one should be shocked that instead of covering a speech outlining an economic policy that could transform the lives of millions of Americans suffering under President Biden’s economy, POLITICO chose to focus on a gossipy process story about how a speechwriter inadvertently used words from a speech he wrote four years ago,” O’Malley said.
Previously, Pence accused the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign of mimicking the Trump campaign’s coronavirus response strategy.
“Looks a little bit like plagiarism … which is something Joe Biden knows a little bit about,” Pence said in a barely disguised allusion to Biden’s plagiarism scandal from 1987, during the 2020 vice presidential debate when he quoted British politician Neil Kinnock.