Former Vice President Mike Pence has publicly criticized Donald Trump, the president who made him his running mate, during his strongest rebuke to the 6th January Capitol attack, which he called “a disgrace.”
Pence made the comments at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, using the occasion to criticize Trump at a moment when some Republicans have tried to dismiss the seriousness of the Capitol riot.
Pence rebuked Trump, saying “President Trump was wrong; I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day. And I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”
The timing of Pence’s remarks is significant as Trump and his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, are the only two major declared candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, but other potential challengers are edging closer. Pence is also considering a run.
Moreover, Pence made it personal when he said that Trump was wrong and that his reckless words endangered his family and everyone at the Capitol that day. He added that history will hold Donald Trump accountable for his role in the attack. The timing of Pence’s remarks was significant, given that Trump and his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, are the only two major, declared candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, but other potential challengers are edging closer.
In contrast to some House Republicans on the party’s right flank, who have started an investigation into the treatment of Capitol attack participants, Pence called for transparency and an honest examination of the events that occurred on January 6. He also joked about his presidential ambitions, saying that he would wholeheartedly and unreservedly support the Republican nominee for president in 2024 if it’s him.
Overall, Pence’s speech was a bold and surprising departure from his previous public comments on the Capitol riot and his relationship with Donald Trump. It remains to be seen how other potential Republican presidential candidates will respond and whether Pence’s remarks will have any impact on the future of the party.
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