MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that he wasn’t sure that he and former President Donald Trump would ever see “eye to eye” over what happened on Jan. 6 but that he would “always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.”
Pence, speaking at a Republican dinner in the early voting state of New Hampshire, gave his most extensive comments to date on the events of Jan. 6, when angry Trump supporters broke into the Capitol building, some chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” after the vice president said he did not have the power to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.
“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,” Pence said.
“And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States,” Pence continued. “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.”
It was a rare departure for Pence, who spent four years standing loyally beside his boss amid controversy, investigation and impeachment. It comes as Pence considers his own potential 2024 White House run and as Republicans, some of whom were angry at Trump in the days after the Jan. 6 insurrection, have largely coalesced back around the former president.
Pence praised Trump several times during his nearly 35-minute speech at the Hillsborough County Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Awards Dinner in Manchester. He tried to turn the events of Jan. 6 back around on Democrats, saying they wanted to keep the insurrection in the news to divert attention from President Joe Biden’s liberal agenda.
“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 the radical agenda,” Pence said. “My fellow Republicans, for our country, for our future, for our children and our grandchildren, we must move forward, united.”
He accused Biden of campaigning as a moderate but becoming the most liberal president since President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He said the administration forced through Congress “a covid bill to fund massive expansion of the welfare state” and was pushing a “so-called infrastructure bill” that was really a “thinly-disguised climate change bill” funded with cuts in the military and historic tax increases.
“I just say enough is enough,” he said, adding that “we’re going to stand strong for freedom.”
Pence also hit upon several favorite themes of conservative Republicans, emphasizing the need for states to shore up voter integrity around the country. He also praised law enforcement as heroes, suggesting that “Black lives are not endangered by police. Black lives are saved by police every day.”
He also pushed back against “critical race theory,” which seeks to reframe the narrative of American history.
Its proponents argue that federal law has preserved the unequal treatment of people on the basis of race and that the country was founded on the theft of land and labor. But Republicans have said concepts suggesting that people are inherently racist or that America was founded on racial oppression are divisive and have no place in the classroom.
“America is not a racist country,” he said, prompting one of several standing ovations and cheers during his speech.
“It is past time for America to discard the left-wing myth of systemic racism,” Pence said. “I commend state legislators and governors across the country for banning critical race theory from our schools.”
His choice of states, including that April appearance in South Carolina, is aimed at increasing his visibility as he considers whether to run for the White House in 2024.
Trump is increasingly acting and talking like he plans to make a run as he sets out on a more public phase of his post-presidency, beginning with a speech on Saturday in North Carolina.
Since leaving office in January, Pence has been doing work with the Heritage Foundation and Young America’s Foundation. His team said he plans more trips, including stops in Texas, California and Michigan.
Along with his visits to South Carolina and New Hampshire, Pence has been hitting the fundraising circuit. He is set to speak next week at another fundraiser hosted by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, will travel to North Carolina for a Heritage Foundation donor event, and will then head to California, where he will take part in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute’s speakers’ series, a Republican National Committee donor retreat and a Young America’s Foundation event, according to aides.
Among other prominent Republicans, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in April that she would stand down if Trump decided to run in 2024. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has undertaken an aggressive schedule, visiting states that will play a pivotal role in the 2024 primaries and signing a contract with Fox News Channel.
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Mike, as much as I liked you as Trump’s VP, I guess you and I won’t see eye-to-eye on this, either. There were plants in that fiasco, put there by the Left, to give the appearance that it was largely Trump supporters causing all the mayhem and that Trump authorized it. I do not understand you buying into that. There were numerous reports of Antifa operatives being there and communicating with one another.
What exactly has he got to be proud of?? SIGNING OFF on the biggest theft of votes in history?
He wasn’t signing on or off. He was performing a largely ceremonial task by certifying the election. There were others who were making the case, and whom should have had their say, and a vote. Sadly this was interrupted by the riot. There were people from both sides involved in the riot, and we should own ours, as much as we castigate ‘theirs.’
Too many of Pence’s task that day because of our national disdain of learning civics. An ignorant electorate is a vulnerable and confused electorate. Time for all of us to become responsible citizens, no matter who we support. Blessings.
Too many are** ignorant** of Pence’s task that day.**
Signing off. Certifying. TO ME they are the same thing..
mike mike mike you are a christian man and yet you believe the left wing lies.
most of the unwashed masses in this country do not have a dam clue about america and her founding
all they know is “we’s be getting a check and ebt from the gubment”
mike the congress house ands senate along with every other federal building BELONGS TO WE THE PEOPLE.
our tax money built them and there for we the people say that congress is our house.
not a place for the cowards like mitch mcconnell and schumer to hide in like a bunker.
while you worry about jan 6th the election stealing demoncrats have waged war on americas oil,power,israel,and seprerated us with racial strife.
IF he believes all the left’s lies, he’s NO more a christian, than an MS13 gang banger is.
As a nation of laws, Pence did his job that day. To have done otherwise, would have been to actually behave like a democrat progressive. His disagreement with Trump, is to that constitutional task which was his that day. The constitution does NOT invest power in the VP to overturn an election. Hopefully, Trump supporters will combine knowledge with their zeal one day, as we both know what the Bible says about “zeal without knowledge.”
Like you, I wanted something to happen that day, but I heard some conservatives talking about taking guns to DC for the rally. Our side made some mistakes, and hopefully, we will get it better next time. Time to get through the mourning process, and move on. By the way, I believe the election was stolen, and many failed us in the days before, during and after the election. Judge Thomas has said that SCOTUS erred in not taking the case which Texas brought, as states have NO OTHER recourse. Poll watchers were abused, and that is the least talked about and the BIGGEST red flag. I’ve been a poll watcher, and I can’t imagine ever certifying an election IF I was removed from the polling station.
The Constitution DOES NOT require the Vice President to do ANYTHING on January 6th…at all! The date is not even mentioned. Certain states were asking for more time to CORRECTLY and constitutionally certify their elections. This is what Pence prevented. He is a snake in the grass, a Judas, and a hypocritical Pharisee of the highest order. I hope never to see him again. Which would be better than hearing more of the crimes some people accuse him of.
The “Insurrection” on January 6th was a false flag planned by Nancy Pelosi and others. I have no use for talking to anyone who wants to believe the lying reports of what happened. The truth is slowly coming out, but there are some who insist on blaming Trump supporters for doing nothing wrong. To hell with those people. No one needs “friends” like that!
If YOU believe that Trump ENCOURAGED (ordered) ANYONE to “attack” the Capitol, then you will NEVER get my vote for ANY public office (not even dog catcher)!
If you look at the videos, you see MANY (most) of the people in the Capitol walking INSIDE the velvet ropes… Is THAT the way unruly mobs act?
PRIOR to what he did on the sixth, i was firmly feeling Pence would make a good potus AFTER TRUMP served his two terms.
BUT AFTER what he did that day, i’d rather vote for DONALD DUCK and Poppeye..
Mike, the attack on the Capitol was planned ahead of time. Police Departments tipped off the FBI and they did nothing. Trump had nothing to do with the attacks. Trump told everyone to march peacefully and patriotically to the Capitol.
And you’ll never be President.
A Vice President does not have the ability to overturn an election. The same people who wanted VP Pence to step in and change the outcome of the electoral votes in January would have screamed loud and long if Joe Biden would have tried to carry out a similar move in 2017 so Hillary Clinton could have been named president.
I voted for Donald Trump because he was the best candidate. Blaming Donald Trump for the Capitol Hill incident is unfair. I watched President Trump’s speech. He didn’t call for anyone to invade the Capitol. In fact, the incident at the Capitol destroyed any chance he had of getting his grievances regarding election vote counting fraud to be heard.
How?? HE HAS A DUTY TO certify a VALID election.
WHAT WE HAD WAS NOT a valid election, especially with the LAUNDRY LIST OF evidence of fraud we are now getting.
ERGO his duty, was to NOT CERTIFY the vote back then.
Anyone who supports Pence now is a brainwashed idiot.
Um, no. the Capitol Police stood back and let the crowds in — and in some cases actually invited them in. There are videos that show them doing that, as well as a video of one of the Trump supporters begging the police to do something about the leftist plants who were breaking things and trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to incite others to break things.
Mikey just gave us the reason for not supporting him for a possible presidential run in 2024, or ever.
Trump supporters don’t wear backpacks, carry bear spray, wear helmets. The crowd of antifa and such, were gathered at the Capitol before President Trump even took the podium to speak. With a left wing riot in place, it took the focus off the certification of the vote. The whole thing stinks to high heaven, and Pence does not even know what happened. Maybe Pence does know what happened, and he was for it. The deep state is very deep.
Who killed Ashley Babbit ? What is that officers name ? Why are demonstrators who were there on that day still being held in the capital jail in solitary confinement for supposed trespassing ? As it was said before in previous comments – It is our house, and trespassing is a stretch.
Tired of weak politicians, bureaucratic shills, and the corrupt deep state. Arizona needs to finish the Forensic Audit of our election, and then other states need to do the same. When the truth is discovered as fact, Treason will need to be addressed.
AND even if it was some how, trespassing, HOW DOES THAT justify them being HELD WITHOUT BAIL FOr months on end, while ACTUAL OCCUPIERS OF GOVT property (seattle!!) have not even been CHARGED With a crime, let alone been arrested and held without bail….
So after four years of being Trump’s VP, after four years of being front and center of what the left and the media did to Trump Pence just up and decides that Jan 6 was Trumps fault???? He didn’t know this was planned by Pelosi and the DC police told to stand down so Antifa and the other Soros plants could do their dirty work???? He doesn’t question who shot the one person killed or why the innocent people arrested are still in hard lockup???? Seems to me Pence is just another RINO scared to death of the commucrats, ZERO conviction and looking out for his own *** for ’24.
Angry Trump supporters? How about Anti-FA and BLM?
Insurrection? Without weapons of any type?
Violence quelled? Who were the violent elements?
Swift action of Capitol Police? The only death by violence was a murder committed by a Capitol Police officer who is still being protected.
Has the author been sleeping for the past six months?
I BLAME Pence for the Capitol Riots….
ALL Pence had to do was to state the He would HEAR the Evidence that was going to be presented in the Senate and that ANY Decision would be made off of that Evidence….
But NO, Pence had stated UP Front that he was going to Certify the Election for Biden….. basically Evidence be damned ..
Exactly. He effectively said “WHO CARES what evidence there is, i won’t hear it”