On his 64th birthday, former vice president Mike Pence addressed Republican voters in Des Moines, Iowa, at a CNN Town Hall.
Strangely, the event took place on the same day that Chris Licht, the head of CNN, was fired by the network, in large part because he supported a Trump Town Hall that led the “most trusted name in news”‘s dissenters to publicly revolt.
Pence, a former congressman, governor, and Trump ally from Indiana, spoke with presenter Dana Bash for 90 minutes about a range of subjects, including why he wants to be president, abortion, Ukraine, and other subjects.
About the events surrounding January 6, he threw MAGA Patriots and Trump under the bus.
Pence reiterated his belief that Trump was mistaken to believe that the vice president could rescind the election.
…I felt that he was asking me to choose between him and the Constitution. I chose the Constitution. And I always will.
I said today President Trump was wrong then, he’s wrong now.
He went even further, though, and declared that Trump should never again hold the position of President.
Anyone who puts themselves above the Constitution should never be president in the first place. And anyone who asks anyone else to put themselves over the Constitution should never be president again.
If elected, Pence indicated he will not pardon any J6 members:
You know, on the day of January 6, I issued a tweet demanding that people leave the Capitol. And grounds.
I said that those that failed to do that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I continue to believe that today.
Mike Pence when asked if he would pardon any J6 prisoners
“I have no interest or no intention of pardoning those that assaulted police officers, or vandalized our Capitol.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) June 8, 2023
Pence apparently had not seen the most recent news about that day, that Capitol Police let in hundreds of protesters.
During the events of Jan. 6, a side door to the Capitol was mostly unguarded and open. According to police security footage obtained by a media outlet, more than 300 people were allowed into the Congress house unimpeded, even though officers tried to keep protesters out of other areas.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., first raised concerns two years ago about an episode in a hallway in the middle of the Capitol that occurred around 2:30 pm that afternoon, right before other breaches began.
There is a sign clearly marking the fire evacuation door for an emergency exit on the non-public Upper West Terrace hallway, which Capitol Police officers usher a few protesters toward, according to the footage.
The sign declares, “Emergency exit only,” and tells evacuees to “push until alarm sounds” so that the “doors will unlock in 10 seconds.” 309 people pass through it in fewer than 20 minutes from the outside after one person leaves; the doors then seem to open from within.
Even if they had chosen to switch to CNN at that point, many Republican voters most likely turned the TV off.
J6 Unmasked: Security footage confirms Senate door opened, allowing 300 to enter Capitol freely
A door on the West side of the U.S. Capitol was left open and mostly unguarded for key moments during the Jan. 6 riot, allowing more than 300 people to enter the building unimpeded… pic.twitter.com/fBR2lwLGIq
— AɯƙɯαɾԃMαɱα™® (@Aspiemama_107) June 6, 2023
Former FBI agent Steven Friend, who worked on the Jan. 6 case before leaving after revealing what he said were civil liberty infringements of J6 defendants, said the footage could help some defendants in court.
“I think it’s sort of a game changer. I mean, here, they didn’t even position authority figures there who would admonish folks not to use that door,” Friend declared. “And that’s the Capitol, the people’s house. And I think there was a general sentiment among people there who even might have thought that it was more of just a regular tour of the building.”
Pence asserts that he should be president as “this country is in a lot of trouble,” stressing that the Democrats did not tackle issues like inflation and foreign policy.
Now more than ever, I think those of us that have the experience to bring back real change and to put America back on a track of common sense, conservative principles have a responsibility to step forward.
Pence has a long history of being a fierce opponent of abortion, and on Wednesday night, he reiterated this position:
I’m pro-life and I don’t apologize for it.
All my time in Congress, I stood for the right the life. I authored the first legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.
I believe that if you’re going to be pro-life you need to be pro-adoption.
Pence attempted to set himself apart from both Trump and DeSantis when asked about the Russian invasion of Ukraine by expressing a stronger pro-Ukraine stance than any of his competitors.
I know that some in this debate have called the war in Ukraine a territorial dispute. It’s not, it was a Russian invasion, an unprovoked Russian invasion. And I believe the United States of America needs to continue to provide the courageous soldiers in Ukraine with the resources they need to repel that Russian invasion and restore their territorial integrity.
Case of the Mar-A-Lago Documents
Pence supported Trump in this particular matter, denouncing the corrupt DOJ’s two-tiered justice system. The former president’s indictment, he claimed, would “send a terrible message to the world”:
I don’t know the facts of the former president’s case… but what we’ve got to have in this country is equal treatment under the law.
I was very troubled last summer when for the first time in history, there was a search warrant executed at the home of a former president of the United States.
When asked about the inquiry into Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence says "no one is above the law" but indicting a former president sends a terrible message to the world.
— CNN (@CNN) June 8, 2023
A RealClearPolitics average shows Pence at 3.8 percent, far behind Trump (53.2%) and DeSantis (22.4%) in the race for the GOP nomination. Although Pence usually comes out as a really respectful man, he lacks energy and doesn’t really excite people.