At Town Hall, Pence Slams Trump's Putin Remarks

'I know the difference between a genius and a war criminal'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2023 5:13 AM CDT
Pence Goes After Trump on Jan. 6, Putin
Supporters listen to Mike Pence speak at a campaign event, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Ankeny, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Mike Pence played up the achievements of what he calls the "Trump/Pence" administration at a CNN town hall on Wednesday night while also trying to draw a contrast between himself and his former boss. In what CNN describes as his "sharpest criticism" of Trump at the Iowa event, the former vice president slammed the former president for having described Vladimir Putin as a "genius" after Russia invaded Ukraine. “I know the difference between a genius and a war criminal, and I know who needs to win the war in Ukraine,” Pence said. "And it’s the people fighting for their freedom and fighting to restore their national sovereignty in Ukraine."

Pence also said that unlike Trump, he would not pardon anybody involved in the Capitol attack. "I have no interest or no intention of pardoning those that assaulted police officers or vandalized our Capitol," he said "They need to answer to the law." Earlier Wednesday, Pence, who was targeted by Trump supporters after he refused to block the certification of President Biden's election victory, focused on the events of that day in a speech to supporters, the Hill reports. "The American people deserve to know on that fateful day, President Trump also demanded I choose between him and our Constitution," Pence said. "Now, voters will be faced with the same choice. I chose the Constitution, and I always will."

Pence said that while his differences with Trump on the 2020 election remain, there are also "profound differences about the future of this country, the future of the Republican Party." But he praised the administration's record on issues including immigration and abortion, saying he "couldn’t be more proud to have been vice president in an administration that appointed three of the justices that sent Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history where it belongs," the New York Times reports. (More Mike Pence stories.)

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