Former US Vice President Mike Pence criticized former US President Donald Trump for using “reckless” language on social media during the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, calling Trump “part of the problem” that day.
Pence was fiercely loyal in public throughout the numerous scandals that characterized the Trump administration, but after the riot on January 6, when Trump supporters yelled for Pence to be hanged, he has on occasion criticized his former boss. Most notably, in February, when he openly criticized Trump’s election “lies.”
Trump asserted that Pence has the power to unilaterally revoke Electoral College votes in his capacity as vice president.
Pence, along with the House of Representatives, nevertheless validated the results of the election despite being threatened by the crowd of Trump supporters that surrounded the Capitol.
Trump tweeted during the attack that Pence lacked the “courage” to unilaterally overturn the results, and Pence was questioned about it on ABC News.
“It angered me,” Pence told ABC’s David Muir after a long pause. “But I turned to my daughter, who was standing nearby. And I said, ‘It doesn’t take courage to break the law, it takes courage to uphold the law.’ The president’s words were reckless. It was clear he decided to be part of the problem,” the former vice president continued in one of his strongest rebukes of his former boss to date. Pence “very greatly disappointed me” on the day the electoral votes were confirmed, according to Trump.
Regarding his plans for 2024, the former vice president has remained vague. Although he has not formally announced his candidacy, he has long been considered a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He would almost certainly face stiff competition from Trump, whose supporters he would need in a primary contest.
On Tuesday, November 15, former adviser Jason Miller predicted that Trump would launch his 2024 campaign.