Trump says it’s ‘too early’ to tell if Pence would be his running mate in a possible 2024 White House bid

Trump Pence
Donald Trump and Mike Pence walk to deliver a coronavirus update in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, September 28, 2020.

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday declined to say if he would select former Vice President Mike Pence as his running mate if he opted for a White House bid in 2024.

Trump told Fox News in an interview that he had a “very good relationship” with Pence, but was “disappointed with Mike on one thing,” a likely reference to the former vice president’s refusal to overturn the 2020 Electoral College certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

Pence, who presided over the certification on January 6, was forced to retreat into a secure location after the Capitol Building was breached that day. Several of the insurrectionists, who were part of a huge mob that sought to stop the certification, openly called for the vice president to be hanged.

Trump didn’t question Pence’s character during the interview, but the former president is still smarting from the election loss, saying that “it’s really too soon to tell” if he would bring Pence back into his fold.

“Certainly we had a very good relationship,” he said. “I was disappointed with Mike on one thing as he understands and some other people understand, but overall, I had a very good relationship with Mike and he’s a very fine person and a fine man.”

He added: “I was disappointed on one account but that was a choice that Mike made, and I want people to make their own decisions and he did. Mike and I have a good relationship … but it’s too early to be discussing running mates.”

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

During a GOP event in New Hampshire last week, Insider’s Jake Lahut reported that Pence delved into his relationship with the former president as it related to the events of January 6.

“President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day,” he said. “But I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.”

He added: “As I said that night, January 6 was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled, the Capitol was secured, and that same day we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.”

In 2016, Trump tapped Pence, who was then Indiana’s governor, to join his ticket, in what was seen as an overture to religious conservatives.

As Pence explores his own possible White House bid, Trump continues to keep his 2024 plans under wraps.

The former president told Fox he would “make a decision in the not so distant future” and added that “people are going to be very happy.”

In his speech at the North Carolina GOP Convention on Saturday, Trump returned to his true form, praising conservatives who supported his agenda, backing Rep. Ted Budd for the Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Richard Burr next year, and criticizing the Biden administration.

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Mike Pence’s 2024 campaign unofficially began in New Hampshire, where he schmoozed with power players and got Jan. 6th ‘out of the way’

For vice president Mike Pence coming out of a New Hampshire shaped hole holding a suitcase surrounded by wildlife and nature on a red background.
Former Vice President Mike Pence.

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Just before the sun set over the Merrimack River, former Vice President Mike Pence took the stage at the Double Tree hotel in downtown Manchester Thursday night, ready to test his presidential ambitions and put a dark chapter to rest.

He walked up to “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, with prepared remarks including phrases such as “moral decay” and “the great Republican comeback,” culminating in a series of crescendos aimed at getting applause.

Most landed, but some didn’t.

In his signature speaking cadence, he had something important to say – that he and former President Donald Trump may never “see eye to eye” on the January 6 insurrection, but that he’s still proud of what the “Trump-Pence administration” accomplished – but not until the completion of the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, introductory speeches, a series of toasts, and a call for the men in the room to “seat the ladies.”

Pence was the main attraction for the Hillsborough County GOP’s annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner, promising a fundraising boost as the biggest name to hit the trail so far in the so-called invisible primary.

With over half of the Granite State’s GOP voters in just two counties – Hillsborough and Rockingham, sitting in the southeast corner of the state near the Boston suburbs – this dinner was equal parts prom and shopping for New Hampshire’s Republican elite.

At $1,000 for a table of 10 and an extra $250 for “VIP room” access, donors and power players could kick the tires on Pence 2024 and rekindle their quadrennial proximity to power.

‘He needs to get it out of the way.’

Should Pence choose to run in the 2024 GOP primary, locking up the best talent on the ground in New Hampshire will be a key step.

While some prospective candidates arrive in the Granite State solo or with just one non-governmental staffer – often relying on local lawmakers or unelected power players to show them around – Pence brought with him a small team to work the room.

Among them were his former chief of staff as VP, Marc Short, along with his former press secretary, Devin O’Malley, and Marc Lotter, another former press secretary and director of strategic communications for the Trump 2020 campaign.

Lotter wrote Pence’s speech for that Thursday night, which bounced between religious themes and a more Trumpian ends-justify-the-means framework.

“As I said that night, January 6 was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol,” Pence told the crowd. “But thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled, the Capitol was secured, and that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.”

The room went silent, save for a few whispered conversations.

He’d just landed a trifecta of standing ovations, starting with a line on how “Black lives are not endangered by police, Black lives are saved by police every day,” and that the United States “is not a racist country.”

Shifting into that signature Pence cadence – a staccato rhythm where he gets simultaneously louder and slower approaching the end of a sentence – the former VP gave the crowd what they wanted.

“You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day,” Pence said. “But I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.”

Pence threaded the needle, distancing himself from Trump and the mob who chanted “Hang Mike Pence” while showing sufficient deference to the undisputed leader of the Republican Party.

“I thought it was a very good move on his part,” a longtime New Hampshire GOP operative told Insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about the party’s outlook on 2024.

“He needs to get it out of the way if he wants to run for president,” the operative continued. “He handled it far more decently than Trump did, particularly considering Pence was on the right side of the event. I thought the crowd loved him.”

Although many of the donors and lawmakers in the room have plenty of experience speaking to reporters during primary season, most quickly declined to speak on the record once the subject of January 6 came up.

“I just think he handled the whole situation tonight very well,” David Tille, a 54-year-old Republican from Henniker, told Insider. “And I thought – I was impressed that he addressed it, that he brought it forward.”

Unlike some Republicans – such as Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who described the insurrection as “by and large a peaceful protest” despite copious videos and firsthand accounts to the contrary – the consensus among New Hampshire’s GOP intelligentsia seemed to be that the Capitol siege was a horrible moment, but not something that should define the party.

Pence said as much, telling the crowd, “I will not allow Democrats or their allies in the media to use one tragic day to discredit the aspirations of millions of Americans.”

Mark Vincent, former chairman of the Hillsborough County GOP, told Insider that “it’s the same party I’ve always known,” and that Pence’s remarks on January 6 were neither a rebuke of Trumpism nor a euphemism.

“It’s a Pence-ism,” Vincent said of the “eye to eye” descriptor. “That’s the way I would expect Mike Pence to describe that situation. And he doesn’t wanna dwell on it.”

Winning the invisible primary

Before Pence spoke, Thomas and Tom Kentara, a father and son pair of Nashua Republicans, said they think he could possibly get better results as president compared to Trump, citing his relationships in Congress and more even-keeled demeanor.

However, both said Pence is not necessarily their pick going into 2024.

Along with several other attendees, the Kentaras said they’re particularly enthusiastic about two Republican governors – Ron DeSantis of Florida and Kristi Noem of South Dakota – because of how they rebuked public health experts during the pandemic.

“That’s the name you’re going to hear the most,” Vincent said of DeSantis.

A Pence aide told Insider that the former VP was simply in New Hampshire to rally support ahead of the 2022 midterms. Pence was not made available for an interview.

The aide also said Pence met with New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, as well as former Sen. Kelly Ayotte and the GOP conference in the State Senate.

A network that includes 424 state lawmakers, dozens of town selectmen and city council members, as well as unelected power brokers in key counties can provide the lifeblood of a presidential campaign in the Granite State.

They house campaign staff and volunteers, set up fundraisers, host events, and make endorsements after being courted by the candidates.

Trump won the New Hampshire Primary in 2016 without paying much attention to the traditional way of doing things in the state, but with the party firmly in his grasp, whoever wants to win the next one will have to flex the Trumpiest bona fides.

With his near death experience on January 6 “out of the way,” Pence has begun to do just that.

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Mike Pence says he and Trump may never ‘see eye to eye’ on January 6th, but have spoken ‘many times’ since their reported falling out

Donald Trump Mike Pence MAGA hats
President Donald Trump (right) and Vice President Mike Pence.

  • Vice President Mike Pence addressed the January 6 insurrection in a speech Thursday night.
  • Pence told New Hampshire Republicans that he and Trump man never “see eye to eye on that day.”
  • “But I will always be proud of what we accomplished,” Pence added.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – Former Vice President Mike Pence addressed the January 6 insurrection in the most detail he’s offered publicly since leaving office.

Pence was speaking at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner for the Hillsborough County Republican Committee at the Double Tree hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“As I said that night, January 6 was a dark day in the history of the United States of America,” Pence told the crowd. “But thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled, the Capitol was secured, and that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

The crowd had just given Pence several standing ovations, but went silent when he brought up the siege where rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence.”

“You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since he left office, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day,” Pence said. “But I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people of the last four years.”

In the days following the breach – when Pence was taken to an undisclosed location by Secret Service agents after coming within seconds of being confronted by rioters – Trump had reportedly never checked in with his vice president to see how he and his family were doing after coming so close to being attacked.

The day of the insurrection that left five people dead, Trump called out Pence during his speech and complained that the VP would not intervene to prevent the results of the election from being certified in Congress. Although Pence’s role on that day was purely ceremonial and in more of a notary capacity, Trump tweeted his frustration at Pence as the riot was unfolding.

Trump tweeted that Pence did not have “the courage to do what should have been done” at 2:24 p.m., right as the pro-Trump mob was breaching the building.

The New York Times also reported that as Pence was heading to the Capitol to certify the results that morning, Trump called him to say “You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a p—-.”

Pence’s acknowledgment of conversations with Trump since then was not publicly known, and he has spoken little of that day before his speech in New Hampshire.

The former vice president was speaking at what the Hillsborough County GOP billed as their “biggest fundraiser ever,” with attendees able to take a picture with him for an extra donation.

According to a Pence aide who spoke with Insider, the former VP met with Republican Gov. Chris Sununu as well as former Sen. Kelly Ayotte earlier in the day, in addition to the Granite State’s GOP conference in the State Senate.

Pence was speaking there to rally support ahead of the 2022 midterms, and not for a potential 2024 campaign, the aide told Insider.

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Republican presidential hopefuls are contesting ‘shadow primaries’ to avoid angering Trump, report says

Nikki Haley, Donald Trump, Mike Pence
Nikki Haley, left, and former Vice President Mike Pence, right, are taking part in “shadow primaries” for 2024, Politico reported.

  • Republican presidential hopefuls are taking part in “shadow primaries,” Politico reported.
  • Sen. Tom Cotton, former VP Mike Pence, and Nikki Haley are campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire.
  • GOP 2024 hopefuls are looking for ways to kickstart their bids without angering Trump, Politico said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republicans with presidential ambitions are looking for ways to campaign without angering former President Donald Trump.

While Trump mulls his political comeback, ambitious contenders are throwing themselves into House races in states with early primaries and caucuses to “put themselves out there” for 2024, the media outlet reported.

Potential candidates, including Sen. Tom Cotton, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Gov. Nikki Haley, are taking part in so-called “shadow primaries” in key states, Politico’s Alex Isenstadt said.

“They’re trying to figure out, how do you lay the groundwork without being seen as may be trying to push the president out of the way?” former Rep. Greg Walden, an ex-chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Politico.

“Until President Trump decides what he’s going to do, I think they can be helpful in House races in their own ways and keep focused on that and not run afoul of the big elephant in the room,” Walden added.

Read more: Inside Trump’s hot vax New Jersey summer, where he’s playing golf and plotting rallies while legal storms form

Cotton, seen as a possible contender for the GOP nomination, is heading to Iowa this summer to launch a string of House fundraising campaigns, according to Politico.

Pompeo visited the state in Spring to show his Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson support, the media outlet noted.

In New Hampshire, the home of the second nominating contest in the Republican presidential primaries, the aspiring contenders have started to throw their weight behind Republican parachute candidate Matt Mowers. Mowers has hosted virtual events with both Pompeo and Cotton, Politico said.

Pence, who is on a cross-country fundraising swing in a bid to increase his public profile ahead of a potential 2024 White House bid, is headed to New Hampshire next week, according to the Concord Monitor. In late April, a trip to South Carolina also foreshadowed a 2024 presidential run, Insider’s Tom LoBlanco reported.

Haley has also recently endorsed female House candidates, newly-elected lawmakers, and a candidate in a New Mexico special election, Politico said.

But until Trump formally announces whether or not he is running in 2024, the jockeying for position as Republican Party presidential nominee is likely to continue by stealth.

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Trumpism is ‘destroying the fundamentals of our democracy,’ says former Mike Pence advisor

trump undermining democracy pence advisor
Olivia Troye told MSNBC that Republican attempts to oust Trump’s critics were a “horrifying and scary prospect.”

  • Trumpism is destroying democracy in the US, according to a former aide to Mike Pence.
  • Olivia Troye told MSNBC that Republican attempts to oust Trump’s critics were a “horrifying and scary prospect.”
  • All of these bad actors… [are] actively destroying the fundamentals of our democracy,” she said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Trumpism is “actively destroying the fundamentals of our democracy,” according to a former senior advisor to Mike Pence.

Olivia Troye, who served as the former Vice President’s homeland security adviser, and was on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told MSNBC on Monday that “Trumpism has got a hold of the country right now,” adding that it was “a horrifying and scary prospect.”

Troye, who quit the Trump administration last August, said that Trumpism “creates divisiveness. It creates hatred. We have seen a rise in domestic terrorism under this era.”

She said the resurgence of Trump’s supporters in the Republican Party since his defeat last November and the attempts to oust his critics from the party, threatened to undermine the democratic process.

“That is why it is so upsetting what is happening with Liz Cheney this week,” she told Joy Reid.

“All of these bad actors that are claiming to be leaders in the Republican Party, because what they are doing is they are not just infighting within the Republican Party they’re actively destroying the fundamentals of our democracy and that is why it matters that we stand against this.”

Troye’s comments come after Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Monday that Trump’s critics would end up being “erased” from the party.

He told Fox News that it was “impossible” for the Republican Party to progress without former President Donald Trump as its leader, adding that those within the party who criticized Trump would “wind up getting erased.”

“The most popular Republican in America is not Lindsey Graham. It’s not Liz Cheney. It’s Donald Trump,” Graham said.

Watch Olivia Troye on the threat to oust Liz Cheney

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Former Vice President Mike Pence undergoes surgery to implant a pacemaker

Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence finishes a swearing-in ceremony for senators in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021

  • Former Vice President Mike Pence had surgery on Wednesday to install a pacemaker.
  • Pence had been experiencing symptoms related to a “slow heart rate” over the past two weeks, per a statement.
  • Pence “is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former Vice President Mike Pence underwent surgery on Wednesday to implant a pacemaker, according to a statement from his office.

Pence had been experiencing symptoms related to a “slow heart rate” over the past two weeks, resulting in the procedure, which took place at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, Virginia.

The surgery was “successful” and Pence “is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days,” the statement said on Thursday.

A pacemaker is a small device installed in an individual’s chest to help regulate the heartbeat. On the 2016 campaign trail, Pence disclosed his medical diagnosis of an asymptomatic left bundle branch block.

“I am grateful for the swift professionalism and care of the outstanding doctors, nurses and staff at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute,” Pence said in the statement. “My family has been truly blessed by the work of these dedicated healthcare professionals.”

Since leaving office in January, Pence has largely kept out of the national spotlight. In February, he revealed plans to launch a conservative podcast. The former vice president is also rumored to run for president in 2024.

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Vice President Mike Pence pleaded with the acting defense secretary to ‘clear the Capitol’ as pro-Trump rioters overran the building, report says

Mike Pence Donald Trump
President Donald Trump listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a coronavirus briefing in February 2020.

  • The Associated Press obtained an internal Pentagon document about the Capitol riot on January 6.
  • According to the outlet, Vice President Mike Pence placed an urgent call to the acting defense secretary.
  • “Clear the Capitol,” Pence said after the mob had been in the building for hours.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After a group of former President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the US Capitol on January 6, forcing lawmakers to evacuate and leaving multiple people dead, questions have lingered about the timeline of events.

Some of those details have emerged in an internal Defense Department document that was obtained by the Associated Press.

Vice President Mike Pence, who was in the building when the Capitol riot began, made an urgent call amid the chaos.

“Clear the Capitol,” Pence told Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, the Associated Press reported. Pence was in a “secure location” when he made the call, but the Capitol had already been overrun by rioters for two hours.

The Associated Press pieced together the timeline of the siege based on the document and previously known details.

Read more: Donald Trump is facing legal jeopardy on multiple fronts. Here are the lawyers in his corner.

According to the outlet, the timeline “lays bare the inaction by then-President Donald Trump” and “shows that the intelligence missteps, tactical errors and bureaucratic delays were eclipsed by the government’s failure to comprehend the scale and intensity of a violent uprising by its own citizens.”

Pence was at the Capitol on January 6 to oversee the counting of electoral college votes and certify President Joe Biden’s victory. Trump encouraged his supporters to come to Washington, DC, to “stop the steal,” a reference to his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.

Before the siege, Trump addressed a crowd of his supporters and told them to march to the Capitol. He also lashed out at Pence for not blocking the count of the electoral college, despite the vice president’s role being largely ceremonial.

Some of the rioters were captured on video chanting “hang Mike Pence.”

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution,” Trump tweeted as his supporters closed in on the Senate chamber, just minutes after Pence was evacuated at around 2:13 p.m.

An hour later, Trump tweeted again, urging his supporter who had already overrun the building and attacked police officers to “remain peaceful.”

Pence’s call to Miller urging him to clear the Capitol came at 4:08 p.m., according to the Associated Press.

At 4:17 p.m., Trump first urged his supporters to leave, tweeting a video of himself repeating false statements about the election and saying “go home, and go home in peace.”

The Capitol was not declared secure until 8 p.m., and law enforcement was heavily criticized for its response to the day’s events.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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Trump didn’t include Mike Pence in his list of ‘very good’ Republicans and possible 2024 presidential candidates

Pence Trump
Then-Vice President Mike Pence and then-President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden on March 29, 2020.

  • Donald Trump didn’t include Mike Pence in his list of “very good” GOP leaders and potential 2024 presidential candidates.
  • Trump named Ron DeSantis, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Kristi Noem.
  • Pence is reportedly considering a 2024 presidential bid if Trump decides not to run.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump didn’t include his former vice president in his list of “very good” Republican leaders and potential 2024 presidential candidates during a new interview with conservative commentator Lisa Boothe.

Instead, Trump named Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

“Ron DeSantis is doing a really good job in Florida,” he said. “I think Josh Hawley has shown some real courage in going after big tech … Somebody that’s been really terrific is Ted Cruz.”

He added, “Rand Paul has been great … Sarah Huckabee is going to do great in Arkansas. I think that Kristi Noem has done a terrific job … The Republican Party is stacked.”

Trump said he’ll make his decision on whether or not to run for reelection “later.”

Pence is reportedly considering a 2024 presidential bid if Trump decides not to run. Following the election, Trump accused Pence of lacking the “courage” to illegally overturn the presidential election results, inciting pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6 to call for Pence’s hanging.

During the interview, Trump also repeated his false claims that Pence could have rejected certain states’ Electoral College votes during the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress.

“It’s too bad Mike Pence didn’t go back, because you would have had a much different result had Mike Pence gone – he could have said, ‘I’m sorry, but this was not approved by the state legislature, and according to the Constitution, it had to be,'” Trump said.

Pence hasn’t publicly criticized Trump’s pressure campaign against him even as the former president has continued to lie about the election results and Pence’s role in certifying the election.

The former president took the opportunity to attack a few fellow Republicans, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ben Sasse, who he called a “loser.”

Trump also said he’ll continue to endorse Republican candidates who support his agenda, even if they’ve “said something a little bit off-color with respect to me.”

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Trump advisors are telling him to drop Pence for a Black or female VP in a potential 2024 run, report says

Pence Trump
Former Vice President Mike Pence and former President Donald Trump.

  • Bloomberg reported that Trump is seriously considering running for the White House again in 2024. 
  • Its sources said that advisors are pushing Trump to drop Pence as his running mate, if he runs. 
  • They reportedly want him to go with a Black or female VP pick, like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Former President Donald Trump is seriously considering running for the White House again in 2024, and advisors are pushing him to drop former Vice President Mike Pence as his running mate if he does so, Bloomberg reported. 

Three sources told Bloomberg that Pence likely won’t be on the ticket should Trump run again. 

Close advisors want him to go with a Black or female vice presidential pick, sources familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg. Two advisors singled out South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, an ardent Trump defender, per Bloomberg.

Kristi Noem at CPAC
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaking at CPAC 2021.

A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that they doubt Pence would run with Trump again, but that Pence hasn’t specified whether he’s interested or not. Trump teased a 2024 run at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

But Trump advisor Jason Miller told Bloomberg that Trump “hasn’t made any decisions regarding a potential 2024 run” and contested that any conversations were happening about picking a new running mate.

Insider has contacted Trump’s office for comment on the Bloomberg report. Bloomberg said a Pence spokesperson did not respond to its request for comment.

Trump and Pence seemed to fall out near the end of their term, when the vice president refused to get behind the Trump’s plan to overturn the 2020 election result.

Trump lashed out at Pence on social media for not trying to block the certification of the election results on January 6, an act that Pence had no constitutional authority to do.

The pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol that same day also said they wanted to execute Pence, according to a photographer on the scene, and were seconds away from seeing Pence and his family. A total of five people died in that riot, but experts say it could have been worse.

Following the Capitol riot, it was reported that Trump and Pence were not on speaking terms, and that Pence was livid at Trump.

But Pence’s former chief of staff, Marc Short, downplayed the tension in an interview with CNN, saying Trump and Pence “talked several times before they departed” the White House, and that they left things “amicably.” 

Pence himself has been heavily discussed as a potential 2024 GOP candidate, but still lags in popularity to Trump. A recent Harvard-Harris poll found that 42% of Republicans wanted Trump as their 2024 nominee, compared to 18% who preferred Pence. 

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Pence slams Democratic voting reform bill HR 1 as an ‘unconstitutional power grab’

mike pence
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Rock Springs Church to campaign for GOP Senate candidates on January 4, 2021 in Milner, Georgia.

  • Mike Pence criticized the Democratic HR 1 voting reform bill as “unconstitutional power grab.”
  • Pence says that “election reform must be undertaken at the state level.”
  • The former vice president is slowly emerging back into the political world.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Former Vice President Mike Pence came out swinging on Wednesday, writing an op-ed that criticized House Democrats’ sweeping election reform bill as “unconstitutional power grab.”

The Democratic-backed House Resolution 1 (HR1), known as the For the People Act, would end partisan gerrymandering, expand early and absentee voting, establish national standards for voter registration, and blunt voter purges, among other reforms.

In his article for The Daily Signal, Pence argues that the bill would take away responsibilities that should be left to the states.

“Election reform is a national imperative, but under our Constitution, election reform must be undertaken at the state level,” he wrote. “Our Founders limited Congress’ role in conducting our elections for good reason: They wanted elections to be administered closest to the people, free from undue influence of the national government.”

He added: “While legislators in many states have begun work on election reform to restore public confidence in state elections, unfortunately, congressional Democrats have chosen to sweep those valid concerns and reforms aside and to push forward a brazen attempt to nationalize elections in blatant disregard of the US Constitution.”

Democrats and voting rights advocates have slammed the wave of GOP-backed initiatives aimed at restricting the vote in the aftermath of former President Donald Trump’s loss and his monthslong pressure campaign seeking to overturn the 2020 election results.

Trump’s claims of voter and election fraud are false.

While Republicans hope to use their majorities in key states to cement new Congressional districts to their liking, HR 1 would take away that responsibility, mandating that states adopt independent redistricting commissions.

To Pence, such a move only adds to his staunch opposition to the bill.

“Congressional districts would be redrawn by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats,” he wrote. “Leftists not only want you powerless at the ballot box, they want to silence and censor anyone who would dare to criticize their unconstitutional power grab.”

The former vice president says that having served in federal and statewide office, access to voting and secure elections are paramount.

(The 2020 election was among the most secure in modern history, and there is no evidence of widespread voter or election fraud.)

“HR 1 would turn a blind eye to very real problems at the state level, exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, and further undermine the American people’s confidence in the principle of ‘one person, one vote,'” he wrote.

Pence did not mention Trump in the op-ed, despite him still reportedly enjoying a warm relationship with the former president.

After the January 6 Capitol riots and the Electoral College certification process, which Trump tried to use to pressure Pence to overturn the election results, the former vice president initially kept a low profile, but has slowly emerged back into the political world.

Last week, he met with members of the conservative Republican Study Committee and told the group that he intends to start a political organization that will protect the legacy of the former administration, according to a CNN report.

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