Mike Pence Delivers Biggest Rebuke Yet to Trump

He calls Jan. 6 riot a 'disgrace' and says 'history will hold Donald Trump accountable'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2023 7:50 AM CDT
Mike Pence Delivers Biggest Rebuke Yet to Trump
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Coolidge and the American Project luncheon in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The annual Gridiron Dinner in DC is usually a lighthearted affair, with politicians testing their comedy chops in front of peers and journalists. Mike Pence did so on Saturday night, but he also turned serious and delivered what the AP and the Washington Post see as his strongest rebuke yet to former President Trump over the Capitol riot:

  • “President Trump was wrong,” Pence said toward the end of his speech. “I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day. And I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”

  • “The American people have a right to know what took place at the Capitol on January 6th,” he said. “But make no mistake about it, what happened that day was a disgrace, and it mocks decency to portray it in any other way.”

Reuters notes that Pence previously blamed Trump for endangering his family in his memoir that came out last year, and the former VP delivered comments similar to the above while making the rounds to plug that book. Trump himself has not yet responded to the new public dig. Pence also cracked some jokes in his speech, and one in particular about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay Cabinet member, was drawing criticism, per the AP:

  • On Buttigieg: After noting that Buttigieg took "maternity leave" when he and his husband adopted twins, Pence said: "Pete is the only person in human history to have a child and everyone else gets post-partum depression." The latter was a jab at national travel problems.
  • On himself: “I’m really not as uptight as many people think,” he said, per the Wall Street Journal. “There’s this idea that I’m some kind of religious nut. I’m really not. Just ask my sons—Jedediah, Obidiah, or Zechariah. It’s true that I am a man of deep faith. In fact, my preferred pronouns are thou and thine.”
  • On 2024: “I will wholeheartedly, unreservedly support the Republican nominee for president in 2024 ... if it’s me.”
(More Mike Pence stories.)

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