JFK's grandson slams Pence's interpretation of 'Profiles in Courage'
Posted January 18, 2020 10:31 p.m. EST
CNN — President John F. Kennedy's grandson Jack Schlossberg said Saturday that Vice President Mike Pence's recent op-ed is a "total perversion of JFK's legacy and the meaning of courage."
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Thursday, Pence urged Senate Democrats to break ranks and oppose the articles of impeachment brought against President Donald Trump.
Pence cited Kennedy's 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Profiles in Courage," which has a chapter dedicated to Republican Sen. Edmund Ross of Kansas. Pence praises Ross, who broke with his party and is generally considered to have cast the deciding vote to acquit President Andrew Johnson after Johnson became the first American president to be impeached in 1868.
Pence wrote in the op-ed, "The question naturally arises: Who, among the Senate Democrats, will stand up to the passions of their party this time? Who will stand up against 'legislative mob rule' and for the rule of law? Who will be the 2020 Profile in Courage?"
In a series of tweets, Schlossberg wrote that Pence "is right to celebrate Ross, a public servant who, foreseeing his own defeated, nonetheless summoned the courage to vote his conscience, and put the national interest above his own. But let's not be confused."
Trump "was impeached because he did the exact opposite -- he put his own interests ahead of our country's national security and, in the process, broke federal law," he wrote.
Schlossberg is a member of the bipartisan committee that administers the Profiles in Courage Award to a public official who embodies "politically courageous leadership." Schlossberg is the son of Caroline Kennedy, the former US ambassador to Japan.
"Pence and Congressional Republicans have also failed the test of courage," Schlossberg wrote. "Rather than risk their career or endure personal reprisal, they excuse the President's and others' admitted wrongdoing and disgraceful behavior."
"I would argue instead that today, as in , political courage might require a Republican Senator to risk his or her own political future by breaking lockstep from the President and agree to hear from witnesses, review the evidence, and put the national interest above their own," Schlossberg wrote.