Former Vice President Mike Pence, competing for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, sidestepped Sunday on whether he would support Donald Trump if the former president is convicted in any criminal case, arguing that President Biden too “has trampled on the Constitution of the United States.”
“I signed a pledge to be on that stage to say I would support the Republican nominee. I remain confident, more confident after Wednesday night, that the Republican nominee will not be the former president, and we’re going to give the American people a standard-bearer for the GOP that’s going to be able to lead us to victory against Joe Biden and the radical left – I raised my hand to say I’ll support the Republican nominee,” Pence said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”
“I could never support Joe Biden,” Pence continued. “I mean Joe Biden’s policies have been disastrous, he and his family are under an ethical cloud themselves, and frankly Joe Biden has trampled on the Constitution of the United States, he’s failed to faithfully execute our laws – the southern border of the United States created the worst crisis in American history, and that student loan giveaway where he was going to ask truck drivers to pay their taxes to pay off the student loans of graduate students, was essentially an unconstitutional power grab that I rejected. So I’ll support the Republican nominee, and I’m going to continue to work my heart out that it’s me.”
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Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks with members of the media in the spin room following the 2024 Republican primary presidential debate in Milwaukee. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Pence said it was “heartening” to hear from fellow GOP contenders, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. and former North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, that they agreed he “did his duty” or “did the right thing” in certifying Biden’s election victory amid the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
During last week’s first GOP debate hosted by Fox News in Milwaukee, Pence argued he believed Trump asked him to put him before the Constitution.
Former Vice President Mike Pence with former Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Ron DeSantis during the first 2024 GOP debate. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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“I’ve made it clear I had hoped that the issues surrounding the 2020 election and the controversies around Jan. 6 had not come to this, had not come to criminal proceedings. I would rather they had been resolved by the American people and the American people alone,” Pence said on the debate stage Wednesday. “But no one’s above the law. And President Trump is entitled to the presumption of innocence that every American is entitled to. And we will make sure and extend that to him. But the American people deserve to know that the president asked me in his request that I reject or return votes unilaterally, power that no vice president in American history had ever exercised or taken. He asked me to put him over the Constitution, and I chose the Constitution, and I always will.”
President Biden arrives on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 26, 2023. Mike Pence said Biden, like former President Trump, “has trampled on the Constitution of the United States.” (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
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Also during the “Face The Nation” segment Sunday, Pence condemned the recent mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, as “evil,” vowing that if elected president he would expedite the death penalty for mass shooters. He also went after Biden for his record on inflation, record-high mortgage rates and the Afghanistan withdrawal, among other issues.