Former Vice President Mike Pence clearly denounced former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election during a Thursday speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Pence defended his own certification of the election results, saying that he was upholding the constitution and called Jan. 6 a dark day for Americans.
This is one of the first times Pence has addressed the incident since the Trump team requested repeatedly that Pence not put his stamp of approval on the election. Pence’s decision to confirm the election came on the same day that Trump supporters rallied and eventually disrupted the certification process by entering the Capitol building.
“I will always be proud that we did our part on that tragic day to reconvene the Congress and fulfilled our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States,” Pence said. The former vice president went on to say that he believes he had no constitutional authority to overturn what the states said were valid electoral votes.
“The truth is, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that anyone person could choose the American president,” Pence said. He also called the event “a dark day in the history of the United States of America” and praised “the swift action of Capitol Police and law enforcement” who responded to the Capitol riot.
The far-right conservative defended his decision that was a massive disappointment to many conservatives who believed the election was invalid, saying he understood “the disappointment” that conservatives faced:
“I can relate. I was on the ballot,” he said. “But, you know, there’s more at stake than our party and our political fortunes in this moment. If we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections. We’ll lose our country.”
Pence did not call out the former president during his speech, he has, however, distanced himself from Trump saying that he and the former president may never “see eye to eye on that day.”
He did, however, still take time Thursday to praise Trump going so far as to compare him to former President Ronald Reagan:
“President Donald Trump is also one of a kind. He, too, disrupted the status quo. He challenged the establishment. He invigorated our movement. And he set a bold new course for America in the 21st century,” Pence said. “And now, as then, there is no going back.”