Former Vice President Mike Pence took the stage at the Iowa State Fair to speak at the Des Moines Register political soapbox on Thursday. While Pence addressed the crowd, his former boss, ex-President Donald Trump, expressed his anger on social media about their disagreement regarding the certification of the 2020 election results.
Pence and Trump have been at odds about the vice president’s role in certifying the election. Pence has consistently maintained that he was obligated to follow the Constitution and certify the results, while Trump has argued that Pence had the power to send disputed votes back to the states.
Pence speaks about GOP leadership change at Iowa State Fair as Trump fumes https://t.co/uz4JfusUXC
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 11, 2023
In the midst of his preparations to launch a presidential bid, Pence had previously avoided confronting Trump directly. However, following the federal grand jury indictment against Trump for his attempts to overturn the election and the ensuing Capitol riot on January 6th, Pence has ramped up his criticisms of the former president. Unsurprisingly, Trump did not take kindly to this shift in tone.
In a post on his new social media platform, Truth Social, Trump denied ever asking Pence to “disregard the Constitution” or calling him “too honest.” He attributed Pence’s change in stance to bad advice from his advisers, commenting on his declining poll numbers and stating that Pence “chose another path” instead of achieving greatness.
During a question-and-answer session, Pence addressed his contentious relationship with Trump when asked about his alleged treason on January 6th. He emphasized the importance of the Constitution and the American people’s role in selecting the president, saying that he chose to uphold his oath rather than favor Trump. Pence reaffirmed his commitment to the Constitution, stating that he believes he fulfilled his duty that day by God’s grace.
The disagreement between Trump and Pence comes ahead of the Republican National Committee’s first primary debate later this month. Pence’s campaign announced his qualification for the debate, while Trump has yet to decide if he will attend. Trump has refused to sign the RNC’s loyalty oath, further complicating his potential participation.
Pence will also engage in a “Fair Side Chat” with Governor Kim Reynolds on Friday, alongside other 2024 rivals. Notably, Trump and Reynolds have publicly clashed due to her neutrality in the primary race. Trump chose not to participate in the Des Moines Register political soapbox event.
Regarding his message, Pence emphasized the need for new leadership in both the White House and the Republican Party.