The uncertainty of the 2024 electoral process continues to weigh heavy on the minds of the American people, as the field of potential candidates continues to grow.
The situation is especially tense over on the right side of the aisle, where an early announcement by former President Donald Trump has provided him with high perch from which to smite his possible usurpers.
His own former Vice President Mike Pence appears to be seriously mulling a challenge to Trump’s presumptive nomination, and his comments over the weekend appear to be ushering in a more forceful version of the Indiana Republican.
First, the background:
Mike Pence has offered a rebuke of his one-time boss Donald Trump, saying history will hold the former president accountable for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Pence, then vice-president, was in the Capitol when thousands of Trump supporters breached the building in an attempt to stop Congress certifying the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost to Joe Biden.
As Senate president, Pence presided over the ceremonial task of approving the votes of the electoral college.
Throughout the siege, Trump sent several tweets, one calling on Republicans to “fight” and others making false claims of voter fraud. He also criticised Pence for certifying the results.
Some rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence”. A makeshift gallows was erected outside. Pence was spirited to safety by Secret Service agents.
Pence took a rather stark shot at his former boss over the weekend.
On Saturday at the Gridiron dinner in Washington, Pence told journalists and their guests: “President Trump was wrong. I had no right to overturn the election, and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”
Pence is now considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 – against Trump, the clear leader in polling.
Pence rarely addressed January 6 in the months after the riot but he has now upped his criticism of the rioters and Trump. In a memoir released in November he accused Trump of endangering his family.
“What happened that day was a disgrace,” Pence told the Gridiron audience. “And it mocks decency to portray it any other way. For as long as I live, I will never, ever diminish the injuries sustained, the lives lost, or the heroism of law enforcement on that tragic day.”
Pence has been asked on several occasions about his plans to possibly run for the White House in 2024, with the Vice President responding vaguely and suggesting that he and his family had some decisions to make regarding his political future.
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