Former Vice President and current presidential candidate Mike Pence on Wednesday defended his actions during the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election when pressed by a supporter of former President Donald Trump over whether he had the constitutional authority to reject a state’s electoral votes.
In a video first shared by liberal network MSNBC, a woman in attendance at a Pence campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa blamed the presidency of Joe Biden on Pence’s refusal to abide by Trump’s wishes and reject the certification of some electoral votes during the joint session of Congress held on January 6, 2021.
“If it wasn’t for your vote, we would not have Joe Biden in the White House. Joe Biden shouldn’t be there, and all those wonderful things that you and Trump were doing together would be continuing, and this country would be on the right path,” the woman said.
“Do you ever second guess yourself? That was a constitutional right that you had to send those votes back to the states,” she added.
Pence responded firmly, saying the issue was one that continued “to be misunderstood,” and argued the Constitution didn’t afford him, or any previous vice president, the authority to reject votes and return them to the states.
“I’m sorry ma’am, but that’s actually what the Constitution says. No vice president in American history ever asserted the authority that you have been convinced that I had. But I want to tell you, with all due respect, I said before – I said when I announced, President Trump was wrong about my authority that day, and he’s still wrong,” Pence said.
Trump’s legal team filed a number of challenges to the 2020 election results, but all were rejected. Congress ultimately certified the results in the early hours of Jan. 7 after supporters of the former president stormed the U.S. Capitol building, disrupted the proceedings and forced Pence to be evacuated.
The rift between Pence and Trump caused by the former’s rejection of the arguments he could stop the certification has resurfaced on the 2024 campaign trail as both seek the Republican presidential nomination. Prior to his campaign launch, Pence spoke out about the historical day, calling Trump “wrong,” and declaring “history will hold” him “accountable.”
According to a recent Fox News poll, Trump maintains a solid lead with 56%, well ahead of Pence’s 4%.