Pence: Trump is ‘wrong’ to say 2020 election could be canceled | Political news

The former Republican vice president’s speech to the conservative group is his strongest response yet as his feud with Trump escalates.

Former Vice President Mike Pence has directly refuted Donald Trump’s false claims that he could have somehow overturned the results of the 2020 US election, saying the former president had simply “wrong”.

In a speech Friday to a rally of the conservative Federalist Society in Florida, Pence referred to Trump’s intensified efforts this week to advance the false narrative that, as vice president, he had the unilateral power to prevent President Joe Biden to take office.

“President Trump is wrong,” Pence said. “I had no right to cancel the election.”

Pence’s statement marked his strongest response yet to Trump, who has spent his post-presidency fueling the lie that the 2020 campaign was stolen from him. And it comes as Pence begins to lay the groundwork for a possible 2024 presidential bid, which could put him in direct competition with his former boss, who is also teasing a comeback.

The relationship between the two men took on a new dynamic this week as Trump escalated his attacks on Pence.

In a statement Tuesday, Trump said the committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol should instead investigate “why Mike Pence didn’t return votes for recertification or endorsement.” And on Sunday, he lambasted Pence, falsely saying “he could have canceled the election!”

The vice presidents play only a ceremonial role in the counting of the votes of the Electoral College, and any attempt to interfere with the counting would have represented an extraordinary violation of the law and an attack on the democratic process.

“Black Day in History”

Pence, in his Friday remarks before the Lake Buena Vista group of attorneys, described Jan. 6, 2021, as “a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol” and defined his actions that day as consistent with his duty as a constitutional conservative.

“The American people should know that we will always uphold our oath to the Constitution, even if it would be politically expedient to do otherwise,” he told the group on Friday.

He noted that under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, “elections shall be conducted at the state level, not by Congress” and that “the sole role of Congress with respect to the electoral college is to open and count the submitted and certified votes”. by the states. No more no less.”

He then called those who insisted that was not the case.

“Frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the idea that anyone could choose the American president,” he added. “Under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our election. And Kamala Harris will not have the right to void the election when we beat them in 2024.”

The public applauded Pence’s line about beating the Democrats in the upcoming presidential election, but fell silent when Pence earlier said “Trump is wrong.”

Pence reads the final certification of Electoral College votes in the November 2020 presidential election, which was won by Democrat Joseph Biden [File: J Scott Applewhite/Reuters]

Pence was inside the Capitol on January 6, presiding over the joint session of Congress to certify the presidential election, when a mob of Trump supporters violently crashed inside, assaulting police officers and stalking lawmakers. .

Pence, who issued a letter moments before the start of the session that made it clear he had no power to overrule voters, was rushed to safety as some rioters chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence !”

The former vice president, in his remarks on Friday, acknowledged the lingering anger of many in Trump’s base, even as he said it was time to “focus on the future.”

“The truth is there is more at stake than our party or our political fortunes,” he said. “Men and women, if we lose faith in the Constitution, we will not only lose the election, we will lose our country.”

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