Martin Luther King III said his father “was a bridge builder, not a wall builder” as he rebuked Vice President Mike Pence for sharing a quote from the elder King when discussing ending the partial government shutdown over a border wall dispute.
“Whenever I get to this period, it always is reflective. This year is probably more reflective than ever because I wonder what my father would be thinking and (asking), especially since we have an administration and administrators — and reverend said the vice president, I forget exactly what you said, reverend — but the vice president attempted to compare the president to Martin Luther King Jr.,” Martin Luther King III said during a breakfast Monday hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
As Pence advocated for a secure border and for ending the partial shutdown during an interview on Sunday, he mentioned how Martin Luther King Jr. was on “the hearts and minds of the American people today.”
“One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.’ You think of how he changed America,” Pence told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “He inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do: Come to the table in a spirit of good faith. We’ll secure our border, we’ll reopen our government.”
The government shutdown, now in its 31st day, stems from a border wall funding dispute between President Trump and congressional Democrats. Trump has demanded that $5.7 billion for the project be included in any spending package that reaches his desk, but Democrats refuse to consider any such attachment.
Roughly 800,000 federal workers are either furloughed or working without pay.
Trump and Pence made a surprise visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in D.C. to leave a wreath at the monument on Monday as the country remembers the late civil rights leader.