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Mike Pence Says He Was ‘Proud’ to Certify the Election, Rebukes Trump

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  • Mike Pence said Thursday he was “proud” to do his Constitutional duty and certify the election.
  • “There is almost no idea more un-American than the idea that one person could choose the president,” Pence said.
  • It was a break from Trump, who continues to express discontent with Pence over the certification.

In a speech Thursday, former Vice President Mike Pence broke from President Donald Trump by asserting he did his constitutional duty when he led the certification of the election results.

Speaking at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, Pence defended his actions on January 6, the day a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers to evacuate. Some members of the mob believed the vice president could stop the certification, as Trump had claimed, and were chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”

“Now there are those in our party who believe that in my position as presiding officer over the joint session that I possessed the authority to reject or return electoral votes certified by the states,” Pence said. “But the Constitution provides the vice president with no such authority before the joint session of Congress.”

Read more: Trump’s role as GOP kingmaker has left Republican loyalists in a lurch as the ex-president’s legal jeopardy grows

“And the truth is there is almost no idea more un-American than the idea that one person could choose the president. The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone,” he continued. “And I will always be proud that we did our part on that tragic day to reconvene the Congress and fulfilled our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.”

 

Pence, who is seen as a GOP potential candidate for 2024, has largely avoided hitting back at the former president despite Trump continuing to express disappointment in Pence, Insider’s Tom LoBianco reported.

Some Trump supporters still hold Pence accountable for certifying the election for President Joe Biden. He was greeted with boos and calls of “Traitor!” when he spoke at a conservative conference in Florida last week. One Republican close to Pence told LoBianco Pence was “stung” by the incident.

Days later, Trump reiterated his feelings, saying he was “disappointed” that Pence certified the election and that he believed Pence had a choice in the certification.

Pence also said in his speech Thursday that although he felt he did his constitutional duty, he was disappointed with the results of the election. Neither Pence nor Trump have announced plans to run in 2024.

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