Former Vice President Mike Pence has made no secret of his presidential aspirations, but his association – and subsequent fallout – with Donald Trump may have cost him his dream.
But according to Trump, it’s Pence’s fault.
Mere months after Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol building and threatened to hang Pence as a traitor, the former president has declared Pence “mortally wounded” with Republican voters.
Trump supporters rampaging through the Capitol constructed a makeshift noose and chanted “Hang Mike Pence” while the former vice president was presiding over the largely ceremonial process of the Senate accepting all 50 states’ electoral votes. Pence was whisked away by the Secret Service and Capitol Police before the rioters could reach him, but was forced into hiding and had at least one close call.
Hours before the ceremony, Trump had a call with Pence to try to persuade him to abandon his duty and attempt to overturn the election results.
“You can either go down in history as a patriot,” Trump told Pence, “or you can go down in history as a pussy.”
At the time Trump and other prominent Republicans were saying that the 2020 election was stolen by President Joe Biden, even though there was and still is no evidence that that happened. Trump has since made it clear that he believes Pence should have overturned Biden’s victory that day in the Senate.
“I’m telling you: 50/50, it’s right down the middle for the top constitutional scholars when I speak to them,” he said, referring to the question of whether the vice president can simply refuse to accept the results of the election. “Because he’s passing on a vote that he knows is fraudulent. How can you pass a vote that you know is fraudulent?”
“People were very angry because it’s common sense,” Trump has also said, defending his supporters over his former vice president. “It’s common sense that you’re supposed to protect. How can you- if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? How can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?”
During Bill O’Reilly’s “History Tour” in Sunrise, Florida, Trump continued to rant about Pence and his anger that Pence did his job.
“I was disappointed in one thing, but it was a big thing. Mike should have sent those crooked votes back to the legislatures and you would have had a different result in the election, in my opinion,” Trump said.
“I think Mike has been very badly hurt by what took place in respect to January 6,” Trump said. “I think he’s been mortally wounded, frankly, because I see the reaction he’s getting from people.”
Pence, a staunch anti-LGBTQ evangelical zealot, cites the Bible for his reason for doing his duty.
“I like that Bible verse that says, ‘He keeps his oath even when it hurts.’ I’d taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and I kept my oath that day,” Pence has said.