The panel was unanimous this morning in condemning Pence's unprecedented mixing of domestic politics with a visit to the troops in Jerusalem. Essentially using our troops as political props. Andrea Mitchell, who's been covering these trips for over forty years, said she'd never seen anything like it before.
Their chyron said it all:
Pence Blasts Democrats For Playing Politics, While Playing Politics
SCARBOROUGH: “The fact that vice president of United States would launch a partisan attack against another party in front of troops overseas is unspeakably bad and is corrosive. The fact that Mike Pence did that after (Sen.) Claire McCaskill (D-MO) tried to get her amendment on the floor to guarantee (service members) that very pay and that Republicans killed it by not allowing that vote makes it even more corrosive.”
ANDREA MITCHELL: “I can’t recall any precedent for a president or a vice president speaking to U.S. troops, especially overseas, especially forward-based. We were near the Syrian border. These Air Force teams, these men and women, are flying everyday against ISIS in Syria, so I cannot recall another moment like this.”
RICHARD HAASS: “I grew up in an era when politics stopped at the water’s edge.When you went abroad, you spoke with one voice, the idea was to show that the country was one in coming together. This, shall we say, is the opposite. It’s using troops as props and it’s taking our domestic divisions, and essentially it’s broadcasting them to the world. Again, this works against the effectiveness of this country in the Middle Rast and beyond that.”
ELISE JORDAN: “I was in President (George W.) Bush’s speechwriting office. For these foreign trips there’s always a lot of speeches that are prepared in advance, but when you’re going to a base, it is an address to the troops. It is not about your politics. It’s about motivating the men and women on the front lines and thanking them for their service. It’s not about you and your political ambitions at the given moment.”
Even Joe Scarborough noted the rank hypocrisy of McConnell blocking Claire McCaskill's efforts to guarantee pay for the troops during the shutdown while odious little pukes like Mike Pence blame Democrats.
And here's the odious little puke himself.