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Eric Holder Says America Was Never Great. Mike Pence Fires Back.

"Exactly when did you think America was great?"

Former United States Attorney General Eric Holder is interviewed by Jeffrey Toobin for a discussion on gerrymandering and its impact on the American politcal system at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate on May 30, 2018 in Boston,
Paul Marotta / Contributor / Getty Images
 

Former Attorney General Eric Holder and current Vice President Mike Pence got into a little Twitter feud over the greatness of America, reports HuffPost.

 

Speaking with MSNBC's Ari Melber on Wednesday, Holder criticized the famous Trump campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," for harkening back to a time that "never in fact really existed."

"When I hear these things about let’s 'Make America Great Again,' I think to myself, exactly when did you think America was great?" Holder told Melber. "It certainly wasn’t when people were enslaved. It certainly wasn’t when women didn’t have the right to vote. It certainly wasn’t when the LGBT community was denied the rights to which it was entitled."

Holder added that though America has done great things, it is always a work in progress.

"You know, America has done superb things, has done great things, and it has been a leader in a whole range of things, but we’re always a work in process," he added. "Looking back, 'Make America Great Again' is inconsistent with who we are as Americans at our best where we look at the uncertain future, embrace it, and make it our own."

On Thursday, the vice president fired back at Eric Holder on Twitter by posting photos of Martin Luther King Jr., the moon landing, the planting of the flag at Iwo Jima, and, of course, George Washington crossing the Delaware.

 

In response to the vice president, Holder got a bit more nuanced by saying America IS great and must continue being greater. "America IS great. And can-and must-be greater still," wrote Holder on Twitter. "'Make America great again' means YOU think America is not great now-and is backward looking. America is at its best when we look forward, embrace an uncertain future and make it ours. That is what defines American greatness."

 

Eric Holder's line about the "Make America Great Again" slogan being a backward-thinking trope for nationalists drunken with nostalgia echoes former First Lady Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC in 2016.

"The story of generations of people who have felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation but who kept on striving and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves and I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn," said the former First Lady. "And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters, and all our sons and daughters, now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States."

"So don’t let anyone ever tell you this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again, because this right now is the greatest country on earth," she concluded. "And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth, a leader who is worthy of my girls' promise and all our kids' promise. A leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children."

According to The Guardian, Michelle Obama's speech brought the audience to tears.

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