Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the Trump campaign's "Faith in America" tour in Pewaukee on June 23, 2020. Photo by David Wise.

VP Mike Pence likened a potential Joe Biden presidency to the onset of communism in Cuba in a speech at Ripon College Friday.

Pence predicted a path of “socialism and decline” under a Biden administration. He called the former veep a “Trojan Horse” for left-wing policies of the Democratic Party, pointing to the recently concluded “unity task force” between the Biden and Bernie Sanders camps.

“I thought Joe Biden won the Democratic primary, but looking at their agenda, it’s clear Bernie Sanders won,” Pence said. “And we don’t need to guess where they’re planning to take America.”

Pence emphasized the need to “fight for our freedom” throughout his speech, adding those who doubted American exceptionalism should speak to people who arrived in the U.S. from socialist or communist countries.

He recounted a conversation President Trump had with a man who left Cuba at 13 to come to the U.S. The man spoke about remembering promises of free healthcare, free education and free land from the Castro regime.

Pence reminded the audience that Sanders has occasionally lauded Fidel Castro. He implied that a leftist takeover like Cuba’s was “happening in our backyard.”

“Our economic recovery is on the ballot, but so are things far more fundamental to our country. It’s whether America remains America. It’s whether we leave to our children and our grandchildren a country grounded in our highest ideals or something else,” Pence said.

Pence said a Biden administration would result in “an inexorable path to socialized medicine,” a limit on parents’ ability to decide where their children attended school and a dissolution of law and order.

“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” said Pence. Trump, on the other hand, “will defend the police every day.”

Pence said it was a false choice to say that supporting law enforcement excluded supporting “African American neighbors and friends” as well as other minorities.

The Biden campaign slammed the VP’s message in a press release, calling the speech an attempt to distract from the Trump administration’s “historic failure of leadership.”

“From farmers who have been forced to file for bankruptcy during the pandemic to union workers in the Fox Valley, people across the state have been left in the dust by an administration that has only rewarded the wealthy and well connected,” the statement said before touting Biden’s recently released “Build Back Better” plan as the right choice for Wisconsin voters this November.

The visit was Pence’s fifth to the state this year. Following the Ripon College address, he headed to western Wisconsin to tour a farm and participate in a roundtable discussion on the USMCA trade deal.

By Caroline Kubzansky for WisPolitics.com.

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