Former VP Mike Pence on Thursday gave his most extensive thoughts yet on the Capitol riot, saying he and former president Donald Trump differ a bit in their feelings on what happened in DC January 6. Pence, during a speech at a Republican dinner in New Hampshire, said, "President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don't know if we'll ever see eye to eye on that day. But I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years." As the Hill reports, he called the riot "tragic," but also claimed Democrats have since used the attack to "distract our attention from a new administration intent on dividing our country to advance their radical agenda."
Trump, of course, initially defended the "very special" rioters in a January 6 video in which he told them, among other things, "we love you." Pence, however, called the day "a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol" in his speech. He also called for the country to now "move forward, united." The AP notes that the speech comes as Pence is considering a 2024 presidential run, and media outlets including Newsweek notes that his appearance in the "crucial first-in-the-nation primary state" is ramping up speculation about what he'll ultimately decide. He got several standing ovations during the speech, including when he declared, "America is not a racist country." He also decried critical race theory, denied the existence of systemic racism, and said, "Black lives are not endangered by police. Black lives are saved by police every day." (Read more Mike Pence stories.)