Pence dithers on if he could ever support Trump again: ‘Yet to be seen’
Pence dithers on if he could ever support Trump again: ‘Yet to be seen’Ryan King
March 19, 04:43 PM March 19, 04:43 PM
Former Vice President Mike Pence demurred when asked about whether he could bring himself to back former President Donald Trump in the future.
Reiterating his long-standing belief that the GOP will “have better choices” than Trump in the 2024 cycle, Pence once again declined to commit to supporting his former boss. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee appears poised to require GOP candidates to attest that they will back the eventual nominee in order to be eligible for the debates.
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“I think that’s yet to be seen, Jon. I must tell you that I think we’ll have better choices,” Pence told ABC’s This Week. “I think the American people long for leadership at the highest level that’s focused on the issues that are affecting their lives. And also, I think they longed for leadership that will keep faith with our highest traditions, including the foundation of the Constitution.”
During a wide-ranging interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Pence revealed that he is still deeply vexed by the ransacking of the Capitol on Jan. 6 and noted that he and Trump have gone their “separate ways.”
“I was angry that day. And while I believe in forgiveness, I’ve been working hard at that for a while. The President let me down that day. He let the country down that day,” Pence said. “I’m looking forward and focused on whatever role we might play in helping to turn this country around.”
Pence is actively considering a 2024 run.
Some of the rioters that stormed the capital chanted about hanging Pence, enraged about his refusal to decertify the 2020 election. Pence reflected on the Capitol riot and stressed that Trump was wrong to insist that he had the power to reject the electoral votes during the certification process during the Jan. 6, 2020 certification ceremony.
“I had actually hoped that he would come around in time, that he would see the cadre of legal advisers that he surrounded himself with led him astray, but he hasn’t done so,” Pence said. “I think it’s one of the reasons why the country just wants a fresh start.”
Pence previously was noncommittal about backing Trump in 2024, largely skirting the question during an interview with CBS earlier this month.
“Well, I think we’ll have better choices, and I really trust Republican voters to sort it out,” he said at the time.
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RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has defended plans to mandate hopefuls take a pledge to make the debate stage, the first of which is slated to take place in Wisconsin this August.
“If you’re going to be on the Republican National Committee debate stage, asking voters to support you, you should say I’m going to support the voters and who they choose as the nominee,” McDaniel CNNCNCNNast month.