Former Vice President Mike Pence disputed former President Donald Trump’s claim that Pence could have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election as he spoke on Friday during a conference in Florida.
Pence made his most direct comments yet on the matter while appearing as a keynote speaker at the conference, an annual event held by the conservative Federalist Society Florida lawyers’ chapters.
“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence said, per a CNN clip of the event. “The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone.”
MIKE PENCE: “President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.” pic.twitter.com/7feWD75Fq1
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) February 4, 2022
“Frankly there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president,” Pence said. “Under the Constitution I had no right to change to outcome of our election, and Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024,” he added to resounding applause from the Federalist Society audience.
Trump has repeatedly targeted Pence as well as highlighted various battleground states that he believes could have affected the outcome of the presidential race, including Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin. The former president has continuously claimed widespread voter fraud occurred in those states and that the 2020 election was “rigged.”
Trump has taken aim at Pence specifically because the former vice president — adhering to what he maintains were his constitutional duties — certified on January 7 that now-President Joe Biden had received 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232.
Pence, who has been floated as a serious possible 2024 presidential contender, has in the past been less straightforward in disagreeing with Trump on the issue, saying in New Hampshire in June that he and Trump may not see “eye to eye” about the events of January 6–7 and saying later that month at a Reagan Foundation event that the Constitution did not grant the vice president the authority to reject electoral college votes.
But Pence’s latest more blunt remarks come in response to Trump again criticizing Pence this past Sunday.
Trump was prompted to speak out against his former vice president as a bipartisan group of moderate senators, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), have been pushing to reform the Electoral Count Act, legislation that dates back to 1887 that dictates the process Congress uses to certify presidential election results.
Trump said in his statement Sunday:
If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had ‘absolutely no right’ to change the Presidential Election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election? Actually, what they are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!
Last May, Trump called the 2020 election the “greatest Election Fraud in the history of our Country” and said Pence had lacked “the courage to send the Electoral College vote back to states for recertification.”