(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday went further than he has before in publicly and directly criticizing former President Donald Trump, rebuking him as “wrong” in his criticism of Pence’s actions on Jan. 6.
His comments came after Trump earlier this week repeated the false claim that Pence had the power to hand the election to Trump in his role counting the electoral votes from the November election before Congress.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!” Trump said about Pence in a statement.
“There are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress that I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral College votes. And I heard this week that former President Trump said I had the right to ‘overturn the election,’ Pence said in a speech Friday to a local chapter of the Federalist Society in Florida.
“President Trump is wrong…I had no right to overturn the election,” he said. “The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. And frankly there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American President.
“Under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our election And Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024,” Pence continued.
He earlier told the audience of conservative lawyers, “As Constitutional Conservatives, The American people must know that we will always keep our oath to the Constitution, even when it would be politically expedient to do otherwise; theymust know, as the Bible says, that we will “keep our oath even when it hurts.”
“Under Article II Section One, elections are conducted at the state level, not by the Congress. The only role Congress has with respect to the Electoral College is to open and count votes submitted and certified by the states. No more no less,” he said.
“Men and women, if we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections, we will lose our country,” Pence said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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