Mike Pence, the former vice president, recently criticized former President Donald Trump and proclaimed history would essentially be the judge of the ex-commander-in-chief’s actions, specifically in the context of the Capitol riot and circumstances that led up to it, during which Pence and family members of his faced serious threats.
“I’m proud of what we did and the stand that we took, criticized though it was by some in my own party and by the president with whom I served,” Pence told the crowd at a dinner hosted by an organization known as the Gridiron Club. “But I’ve also made it clear that President Trump was wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. And his words that day were reckless, and they endangered my family and others at the Capitol. The American people deserve to know the truth of that day. They have every right to hold the president and others around him accountable. No one’s above the law.” For somebody who’s obviously extremely committed to the Republican cause and has a long history of pushing its aims, such criticism from Pence is especially notable.
Pence has made similar comments before, even including having specifically mentioned the threats faced by members of his family. In that conversation late last year with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the former vice president spoke to the importance of forgiveness in his Christian faith. Pence is among those who’ve been discussed as a potential candidate in the 2024 presidential primary among Republicans, and he’s been a subject of some of the polling already conducted to measure prospective voters’ opinions about declared and possible contenders for the party’s nod, but he hasn’t posted particularly overwhelming numbers, unlike Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis.
In a predictable response to Pence’s criticism, Trump blamed the former vice president for what happened at the Capitol because he, as the ex-VP mentioned, declined to go along with the ideas from the then-president and his allies for stopping the certification by Congress of the election results from that year. “Had [Pence] sent the votes back to the legislatures, they wouldn’t have had a problem with January 6, so in many ways you can blame him for January 6,” Trump claimed to journalists in recent days. “Had he sent them back to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, the states, I believe, number one, you would have had a different outcome. But I also believe you wouldn’t have had ‘January 6’ as we call it.” It’s obviously rather ridiculous to essentially blame the victim for the violent response directly and actively incited by somebody else, meaning, of course, Donald Trump.
Check out Pence’s comments below:
Former VP @Mike_Pence on Jan. 6: "President Trump was wrong. […] His words that day were reckless and they endangered my family and others at the capitol. The American people deserve to know the truth of that day." pic.twitter.com/7KPV1nme4y
— The Hill (@thehill) February 17, 2023