The Republican National Committee (RNC), which had condemned the GOP’s two most vocal critics of President Donald Trump, issued the most direct criticism of Trump’s former boss’s attempt to subvert the 2020 election.
Trump’s omissions are a mistake. It was not my right to change the results.” Mike Pence made these remarks Friday, while speaking at an event organised by The Federalist Society. This conservative legal group is Mike Pence.
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) February 4, 2022
Pence seemed to respond to Trump’s earlier statement that Congress efforts to reform how electoral college votes are counted was proof that Pence might have “overturned” the election. Trump could be mistaken about this, even though it is unclear what the law says (hence, the bipartisan efforts to clarify it).
Pence didn’t stop there. Pence continued to state that “t…”Nothing is more American than having one person select the president. He was clearly shaming his ex-boss and party leaders, who continued to indulge Trump’s illusions about winning the election. The Democratic legitimacy of the country must go beyond any individual.
These party leaders voted earlier Friday to censure Reps. Liz Cheney, Wyo. Adam Kinzinger in Illinois, the two Republicans who were involved in investigating the January 6 riots on the U.S. Capitol. Ronna McDaniel, chair of the RNC stated that Cheney and Kinzinger joined Nancy Pelosi to persecute ordinary citizens for legitimate political speech. This had nothing to do at all with violence at Capitol.
The twin moments on Friday afternoon point to the ongoing turmoil within the Republican Party, which is at least partially held captive by Trump and his most ardent supporters despite—or perhaps because of—the former president’s loss in 2020. These moments point out that Trump is not the only owner of the Republican Party, or at least as long as some prominent Republicans can say such things as “Trump’s wrong.”
It seems that the party is split in two as it looks towards the 2016 midterm elections and the soon-to be followed start of next year’s presidential nominating process. One faction—which includes Cheney, Pence, Kinzinger—is committed to upholding the basic principles of democracy, acknowledging that Republicans will lose elections sometimes. One is dedicated to Trump’s grievances about 2020, regardless of how self-serving or vacuous.
Pence had previously criticized Trump’s interference with the election in the past but not as strongly as on Friday. Pence spoke to reporters a few days prior to the chaotic events of January 10, 2021. he did not agreeTrump’s legal acolytes believed that they had created a loophole which would permit the vice president to rescind the legitimate electoral votes. Pence said that Trump and he “would never see eye to eye” over that matter in June.
Pence is an extremely well-liked Republican. He successfully navigated the Trump years of chaos to emerge as the strongest non-Trump candidate for 2024. It is both admirable and politically risky for him to stand firm on this important issue. We will find out how the Republican Party reacts on Friday to Pence’s comments.