Former Vice President Mike Pence was proud to certify the presidential election results on Jan. 6 after a deadly riot at the US Capitol, he said in his most direct departure yet from former President Donald Trump.
Speaking to a crowd at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Thursday, Pence said it was his duty under the Constitution to certify the results, and while he made no direct mention of his former boss, he appeared to distance himself from Trump, who still disputes the results of the Electoral College tally.
‘I will always be proud that we did our part on that tragic day to reconvene the Congress and fulfilled our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States,’ Pence said. ‘The truth is, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.’
Pence appeared in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 800 at the hilltop library, as he considers a potential 2024 White House run.
Speaking to a crowd at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Thursday, former Vice President Mike Pence said that it was his duty under the Constitution to certify the results of the 2020 election, a departure from former President Donald Trump
He took a brief pause from the public stage after leaving Washington, but in late April kicked off a series of events to sharpen his conservative profile for voters more familiar with him standing in Trump’s shadow.
Although he did not dispute the results of the 2020 election, Pence did express his upset with the outcome.
‘Now, I understand the disappointment many feel about the last election,’ he said. ‘I can relate. I was on the ballot. But you know, there’s more at stake than our party and our political fortunes in this moment. If we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections – we’ll lose our country.’
Pence also emphasized Republican values, saying that the party represented the last line of defense against Democrats who want to undercut the Second Amendment and redefine liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
Pence also touted his and Trump’s record during their four years in office,
‘We live in a time when the leaders in the Democratic Party routinely demean the American founding,’ he said. ‘We must make it clear the Republican Party will always defend the principles at the heart of our republic.’
He also touted his and Trump’s record during their four years in office, and went so far as to compare him to Reagan.
‘He too disrupted the status quo,’ Pence said. ‘He challenged the establishment. He invigorated our movement and set a bold new course for America.’
It was, however, not the first time Pence has appeared to contradict Trump on the events of Jan. 6.
Speaking at a Republican fundraiser on June 3, Pence said: ‘You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye-to-eye on that day.’
Pence said he does not think he will ever ‘see eye-to-eye’ with Donald Trump about the January 6 riot – at a June 3 fundraiser. They were his first comments on the insurrection that saw him evacuated from the Capitol
‘As I said that day, Jan. 6 was a dark day in history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled. The Capitol was secured.
‘And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.’
There too, he quickly pivoted to slamming Democrats’ behavior, particularly in the aftermath of the riot.
Striking a defiant note, Pence said he would not let Democrats use the riot to discredit millions of Americans who backed Trump.
He said: ‘I will not allow Democrats or their allies in the media to use one tragic day to discredit the aspirations of millions of Americans.
‘Or allow Democrats or their allies in the media to distract our attention from a new administration intent on dividing our country to advance their radical agenda.
‘My fellow Republicans, for our country, for our future, for our children and our grandchildren, we must move forward, united.’
Trump has been more open about his disagreements with Pence over the election results.
‘Well, I’ve always liked Mike and I’m very disappointed that he didn’t send it back to the Legislatures when you have more votes than you have voters in some cases, and when you have the kind of things that were known then,’ he said Monday in an interview with Real America’s Voice host David Brody.
Donald Trump railed against Mike Pence in an interview Monday where he claimed he was ‘disappointed’ in his former vice president for not ‘sending back’ the results of the 2020 presidential election
‘I was disappointed that he didn’t send it back,’ he continued in reference to the Electoral College results. ‘I felt that he had the right to send it back. He should have sent it back. That’s my opinion.’
Trump also released a statement Tuesday condemning Georgia for waiting until now to remove 100,000 ‘obsolete and outdated’ names from voter rolls.
‘Doing this, they say, will ensure voting files are up to date, while at the same time ensuring voter integrity in future elections.
‘BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LAST ELECTION? WHY WASN’T THIS DONE PRIOR TO THE NOVEMBER 3RD PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, where they had us losing by a very small number of votes, many times less than the 101,789 figure?
‘This means we (you!) won the Presidential Election in Georgia. But don’t fret, much other information will soon be revealed about Georgia—and other States as well. It is coming out FAST and FURIOUS. The 2020 Presidential Election was rigged!’
Pence also caught flak from Republicans for his role in certifying the election results. Last Friday he was booed and called a ‘traitor’ at a Faith & Freedom Coalition event in Orlando.
Former Vice President Mike Pence was booed and called a ‘traitor’ by audience members attending the Faith and Freedom coalition ‘Road to Majority’ event in Orlando, Florida
‘It is great to be back with so many patriots. Dedicated to faith and freedom and the road to the majority,’ Pence said at the ‘Road to Majority’-themed event.
But he barely introduced himself before the audience rebeled.
‘And I want to thank my friend Ralph Reed for those overly generous words, I’m deeply humbled by them,’ Pence said, referring to the head of the Faith & Freedom Coalition.
In the lead-up to the January 6 MAGA riot, former President Donald Trump pushed Pence, who as vice president had a constitutional duty to preside over Congress’ counting of the Electoral College votes, to throw out votes from key swing states – in an effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s win.
Pence has said little about the Jan. 6 riot, and has rarely publicly disputed his former boss
Hundreds of Trump supporters swarmed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, ransacking the building and chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’. Pence was targeted because he refused to overthrow the results of the November election, and oversaw their certification that day
‘I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so,’ Trump told the crowd at the Ellipse on the morning of January 6, before droves of them stormed the Capitol. ‘Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.’
Trump falsely claimed to the crowd that Pence had ‘the absolute right’ to toss out Electoral Votes at his choosing. Pence publicly said he didn’t see it that way.
When rioters got to the Capitol later on January 6, some chanted ‘hang Mike Pence’ for his refusal to do Trump’s bidding.
During Trump’s second impeachment hearing, video footage showed Pence narrowly escaping from the crowd. Trump never called to check in on him.