Former Vice President Mike Pence attended a CNN Town Hall in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday evening, where he engaged with a group of Republican voters—throughout the 90-minute session, hosted by Dana Bash, Pence, who previously served as an Indiana congressman and governor, covering various topics such as January 6, his own presidential ambitions, abortion, Ukraine, and other subjects of interest.
One of the standout moments from the town hall occurred when Pence discussed January 6 and expressed his views on Trump. Pence reaffirmed his long-held position that Trump was mistaken in thinking that the vice president had the authority to overturn the presidential election results. While asserting that he had the right to overturn the election, the president made it clear that he was essentially asking him to choose between himself and the Constitution. Pence said, ” I chose the Constitution, and that’s what I will always do.”
Pence acknowledged that it was a challenging day and had hoped that Trump would eventually recognize that their responsibility was to follow the Constitution and oversee the counting of electoral votes, as established by the founders. However, Pence noted that it hasn’t come to pass, asserting, “President Trump was wrong then, and he’s still wrong now.”
In a clear criticism of Trump, Pence further remarked anyone who prioritizes themselves over the Constitution should never hold the president’s office. Moreover, those who expect others to prioritize them over the Constitution should never become president again.
Regarding the January 6 incident, Pence indicated that if he were elected, he had no intention of pardoning any individuals involved, contrary to Trump’s earlier statements about selective pardons. He emphasized his response that day, stating that on January 6, he tweeted that he urged people to leave the Capitol and cease the violence. Pence also expressed that those who failed to comply should face full prosecution under the law. Pence said that today he still stands by that position.
“We must never allow a recurrence of what transpired on January 6 in the heart of our democracy,” Pence said he would support the decisions made through due process and U.S. legal system. Pence added that he has no desire or intention to pardon those who assaulted law enforcement officers or vandalized the Capitol. The town hall did not address the issue of civil rights violations faced by several January 6 detainees.