Panel moderator at Mike Pence event in Cleveland has controversial past

March 9, 2018

Panel moderator at Mike Pence event in Cleveland has controversial past

WASHINGTON - The moderator of a panel discussion on taxes with Ohio Republican congressmen Jim Renacci and Bob Gibbs before today’s Cleveland speech by Vice President Mike Pence could hardly be described as moderate.

Curtis Ellis is an ally of former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and a senior policy adviser at the Trump-linked group hosting this afternoon’s event - America First Policies. He joined the group after strong protests were raised when he was under consideration to be the Department of Labor’s chief diplomat.

Ellis has publicly accused the “radical left” of “ethnic cleansing” and deliberately bringing about “the liquidation of white blue-collar working families in an epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse.” After penning a Cincinnati Enquirer column that accused Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of being blind to threats from Communist China, he Tweeted “Mitch is China’s bitch.”

“Ellis has a lengthy public record espousing protectionist and anti-Obama trade agenda views on WorldNetDaily, a website known for publishing stories questioning former President Barack Obama’s citizenship,” according to Bloomberg/BNA. “A loyal media surrogate on the Donald Trump presidential campaign, Ellis wrote a column in 2015 titled, “legal immigration threatens our society.”

Curtis Ellis may have left the Labor Dept., (https://t.co/sirWkrADzt) but he’s still got sway in Trump world. Ellis hosts an event in Cleveland this afternoon featuring @VP Pence to tout Trump’s tax cuts. https://t.co/1HqC941xe5— Ben Penn (@benjaminpenn) March 9, 2018

Ellis also has said the Trans Pacific Partnership deal that Trump derailed was a “weapon aimed straight at the Constitution” and at Christians around the world, because he said it would merge the U.S. economy with countries like Malaysia and Vietnam that persecute Christians.

“They ban the Bible, ban Christmas celebrations,” Ellis said in a Tea Party News Network interview with former Arizona GOP Rep. J.D. Hayworth. “We’re going to be merged with these countries economically.”

The AFL-CIO labor union opposed his bid for the Labor Department post, arguing that his past history of controversial remarks “will embarrass the U.S. in international relations.”

“Putting a person with extreme, partisan views—not to mention close association with Steve Bannon—in charge of representing the Department of Labor internationally would be a clear and early indication of the direction” the Labor Department “plans to go, as well as a threat to workers here and abroad,” said a statement from Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

Ellis served on the Trump-Pence transition team and worked a special adviser to the Secretary of Labor while he was under consideration for the diplomatic post, He also served as founder and executive director of the American Jobs Alliance, an independent nonprofit promoting “Buy American and Hire American” policies, America First Policies says.

“Curtis’ wealth of policy knowledge, especially in the areas of free trade and job growth, and his proven commitment to initiatives that promote American strength and prosperity will make him an invaluable member of the America First team,” America First Policies president Brian O. Walsh said in a statement when Ellis was hired.