The idea of ​​overturning election results is ‘un-American’ – .

The idea of ​​overturning election results is ‘un-American’ – .

SIMI VALLEY, CALIF. – Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday defended his role in certifying the results of the 2020 election, saying he was “proud” of what he did on Jan. 6 and saying there was no ” almost no more anti-American idea than the idea that anyone could choose the American president. »

Pence, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has delivered his most vigorous rebuttal yet to former US President Donald Trump’s continued insistence that he can unilaterally overturn the results of the last election, even if the Constitution did not grant him such power. A crowd of Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to stop the certification process and the transition of power, with some chanting “Hang Mike Pence! “

Pence, in remarks to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, spoke directly to those who continue to blame him for Trump’s defeat to current President Joe Biden, who won the Electoral College by a vote of 306-232.

“Now there are members of our party who believe that as chairman of the joint session I had the power to reject or return state-certified electoral votes,” he said. “But the Constitution does not give the Vice President such authority until the joint session of Congress.

“And the truth is,” he continued, “there is hardly any idea more anti-American than the idea that one person can choose the American president. The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone. “

Pence said he “will always be proud that we did our part, on this tragic day, to reconvene Congress and fulfill our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.”

It was Pence’s most open attempt to date to distance himself from Trump’s election rhetoric while presenting himself as an heir to Trump’s mantle and key to his achievements in office. Trump continued to insist that he won the November election, even though his administration’s own election experts, his attorney general, state election officials and many judges, some of whom he nominated, repeatedly and forcefully rejected his allegations of massive electoral fraud.

Pence, speaking as part of a series hosted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute, has repeatedly praised Trump – as he has done in other speeches since leaving his duties – and compared him to Reagan, whom Pence long hailed as a hero.

But he also argued that the American public must have confidence that Republicans “will always keep their oath to the Constitution, even when it might be politically expedient to do otherwise.”

“Now I understand the disappointment many feel about the last election. I can understand. I was on the ballot, ”he added. “But you know, there is more at stake than our party and our political fortunes right now. “

Trump was impeached after Jan.6 for incitement to insurgency, and he was acquitted by the Senate the following month after leaving office. More than 500 people face federal charges in the insurgency, including a member of the extremist group Oath Keepers who pleaded guilty this week.

Pence’s appearance on Thursday to a sold-out crowd of more than 800 at the hilltop library was his latest in recent months as Pence considers a White House offer. He took a brief hiatus from the public eye after stepping down in January, but he launched a series of appearances in April in early voting states, seeking to sharpen his conservative profile for voters more familiar with him. standing in the shadow of Trump.

Earlier this month in New Hampshire, Pence defended the Trump administration’s record, but also appeared to put some distance between him and the former president, saying, “I don’t know if we’ll ever be d ‘deal’ on January 6. insurrection at the Capitol.

Last week, Pence was booed and taunted during a speech at the conservative Faith and Freedom coalition’s annual Road To Majority conference in Florida – a reflection of lingering resentment in some wings of the party about what they see it as a lack of loyalty on the part of the former vice president.

Pence entered to a standing ovation on Thursday, but opinions were divided as to whether he would be a good choice on the presidential ticket in 2024.

Joseph Quiroz, 45, an accountant from Pasadena, said he would like to see Pence run and consider him his first choice at this point, largely due to his experience in Washington and as a former governor.

Quiroz, a Republican, said he voted for Trump in 2016 but believed “the best thing would be a new face.”

Bob Refer, 72, a retired Republican and police officer from San Diego, has said he loves Pence. But, he said, “I think he’s such a nice guy. He is not energetic enough. “

While Refer loved Trump and his willingness to fight, he doubted another race for the billionaire businessman in 2024.

But he quickly added, “I would like someone like him (Trump). “


Colvin reported from Washington.


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