By MICHAEL CASEY, Associated Press
MANCHESTER, NH (AP) – Former Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday he was not sure he and former President Donald Trump would ever see each other ‘agree’ on what happened on January 6, but that he would “always be proud of what we have accomplished for the American people over the past four years.
Pence, speaking at a Republican dinner in the early voting state of New Hampshire, made his most detailed comments yet on the events of January 6, when angry Trump supporters took to storms the Capitol, some chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” After the vice president said he did not have the power to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.
“As I said that day, January 6 was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the rapid action of the Capitol police and federal law enforcement, the violence was quelled. The Capitol was secured, ”Pence said.
“And that same day, we convened Congress again and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States,” Pence continued. “You know President Trump and I have spoken a number of times since we left office. And I don’t ‘I don’t know if we’ll ever be okay on that day.”
It was a rare start for Pence, who spent four years standing loyally alongside his boss amid controversy, investigation and impeachment. It comes as Pence considers his own potential in the White House in 2024 and Republicans, some of whom were angry with Trump in the days following the Jan.6 insurgency, have largely rallied around the former president. .
Pence praised Trump several times during his nearly 35-minute speech at the Hillsborough County Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Awards dinner in Manchester. He tried to turn the events of January 6 against the Democrats, saying they wanted to keep the insurgency in the news to distract from Biden’s liberal agenda.
“I will not allow Democrats or their allies in the media to use a tragic day to discredit the aspirations of millions of Americans. Or allow Democrats or their allies in the media to distract our attention from a new administration that intends to divide our country to advance their radical agenda, ”Pence said. “My Republican colleagues, for our country, for our future, for our children and our grandchildren, we must move forward, in solidarity.”
He accused Biden of campaigning as a moderate but becoming the most liberal president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. He said the administration had imposed on Congress “a COVID bill to fund the massive expansion of the welfare state” and was pushing for an “infrastructure bill” that was in fact a “bill. on thinly disguised climate change “funded by cuts to the military and historic sectors. tax increases.
“I’m just saying enough is enough,” he said, adding that “we will stand up for freedom firmly.”
Pence also touched on several favorite themes of conservative Republicans, stressing the need for states to strengthen voter integrity across the country. He praised law enforcement as a hero, saying: “Black lives are not endangered by the police. Black lives are saved by the police every day.
He also opposed “critical race theory,” which seeks to reframe the narrative of American history.
Its supporters argue that federal law preserved the unequal treatment of people on the basis of race and that the country was founded on the theft of land and labor. But Republicans have said concepts suggesting that people are inherently racist or that America was founded on racial oppression is divisive and has no place in the classroom.
“America is not a racist country,” he said, eliciting one of many standing ovations and cheers during his speech.
“It’s high time America rejected the left-wing myth of systemic racism,” Pence said. “I commend lawmakers and state governors across the country for banning critical race theory in our schools.”
His choice of states, including an April appearance in South Carolina, is aimed at increasing his visibility as he plans to run for the White House in 2024.
Trump is increasingly acting and speaking as if he is considering running as he enters a more public phase of his post-presidency, starting with a speech Saturday in North Carolina.
Since leaving office in January, Pence has worked with the Heritage Foundation and the Young America’s Foundation. His team said he was planning more trips, including stops in Texas, California and Michigan.
Along with his visits to South Carolina and New Hampshire, Pence has hit the fundraising circuit. He is expected to speak next week at another fundraiser hosted by Parliamentary Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, will travel to North Carolina for a Heritage Foundation donors event, and then travel to California, where he will attend the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute’s speaker series, a Republican National Committee donors retreat and a Young America’s Foundation event, according to attendees.
Among other prominent Republicans, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said in April that she would step down if Trump decides to run in 2024. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has embarked on an aggressive agenda, visiting states that will play a central role in the 2024 primaries; and the signing of a contract with Fox News Channel.
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