After Trump’s recent assertions that the January 6th insurrection was “peaceful,” former Vice President Mike Pence is speaking out against his ex-ally. Pence says January 6th was a “tragic day” and calls on voters to choose a different president.
Pence speaks out
At a USA TODAY Exeter Town Hall Republican Presidential forum, Pence countered Trump’s narrative of January 6th. Addressing New Hampshire voters, Pence emphasized the extent of the destruction caused by the Capitol attack and encouraged his audience to pick a different president in 2024.
A tragic day
While Trump characterized January 6th as “peaceful,” Pence described a markedly different experience. “This was a tragic day. I was there,” he said at the forum. His recollection mirrored statements he made during an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, when he declared, “The truth is that this was a riot that should never have happened.”
Pence praises law enforcement
Pence then took the opportunity to commend law enforcement for their efforts to stop the attack. “But it was thanks to the courageous efforts of hundreds of law enforcement officers that the riot was quelled and we were able to reconvene the Congress the very same day,” said Pence.
Pence defends himself
The former Vice President also defended his own decisions during the infamous day. “I’ll always believe by God’s grace, I did my duty that day to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he shared.
No overturning the election
Taking a jab at his former ally, Pence made it clear that he did not condone Trump’s actions on January 6th. “And despite the fact that the former president had been convinced by a group of crackpot lawyers that I had some authority to overturn the election, I’d made it clear to him that I did not,” he asserted.
Pence sticks to his faith
“I knew what my duty was that day. The Bible says he keeps his oath even when it hurts. I know something about that. I was on the ballot. For me, it was very clear. States conduct elections, states certify presidential elections and then send electors through the electoral college to the Congress,” Pence continued. “And the only role of the Congress under Article 2 is to open and count the electoral votes.”
Doing his duty
“They can hear objections. Congress can consider those objections,” said the former Vice President. “But my duty I knew was to preside over a joint session of Congress that would open and count the vote.”
Pence calls for a new president
In his CNN interview with Jake Tapper, Pence doubled down on his condemnation of the former president’s actions by implying voters should choose a different candidate. Pence urged “good Republican voters” to “give our party a fresh start and give us new leadership to lead our party forward in the election and beyond.”
Haley and DeSantis top Trump
While he did not explicitly endorse other Republican candidates, the former vice president noted that he and Chris Christie were long-time friends and said he thought “very highly” of both Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.
Responding to Trump’s FBI accusations
The Republican also refuted Trump’s accusations that the FBI was “leading the charge” in the Capitol attacks. “I’ve heard the many repeated assurances from the FBI that they were not involved and I take them at their word,” said Pence.
Trump shifts the blame
During a rally in Sioux, Iowa, Trump made further attempts to shift the blame away from himself. “By the way, there was Antifa, there was FBI, there were a lot of other people there too leading the charge,” said the ex-president. “You saw the same people that I did.”