Republican Candidates Back Mike Pence’s Actions On Jan. 6 In Debate

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None of the Republicans running for president against former President Donald Trump said they disagreed with how Mike Pence did his job on Jan. 6, 2021.

On that day, then-Vice President Pence presided over the U.S. Senate and refused to go along with Trump’s scheme to upend the certification of the 2020 election, even as a rioting mob interrupted the proceedings.

Debate moderator Martha MacCallum first asked Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) if Pence did the right thing.

“Absolutely, he did the right thing,” Scott said, to applause from the crowd, before adding that people lack confidence in the Justice Department, an oblique reference to the criminal indictments against Trump.

MacCallum then put the question to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who refused to answer it by saying Republicans should “look forward” instead of talking about the past.

Pence himself then chimed in to say, “The American people deserve to know whether everyone on this stage agrees that I kept my oath to the Constitution that day.”

“I’ve answered this before,” DeSantis said, exasperated. “Mike did his duty. I’ve got no beef with him. But here’s the thing, is this what we’re going to be focused on?”

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, also said she thought Pence did the right thing.

Notably, Vivek Ramaswamy, the most pro-Trump of all the candidates onstage ― who had said, moments earlier, that Trump was the “best president of the 21st century” ― decided not to chime in with any words against Pence, whom Trump has heavily criticized for not helping him overthrow the 2020 election.

Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and onetime Trump adviser, then offered extended praise for the former vice president.

“Mike Pence stood for the Constitution, and he deserves not grudging credit; he deserves our thanks as Americans for putting his oath of office and the Constitution of the United States before personal, political and unfair pressure,” Christie said.

“The argument we need to have in this party before we can move on to the issues that Ron talked about, is we have to dispense with the person who said we need to suspend the Constitution to put forward his political career,” Christie continued. “Mike Pence said no, and he deserves credit.”

Despite the seeming consensus that Pence had done the right thing, only Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson declined to raise their hands when moderators asked if they would still support Trump as the Republican presidential nominee if he’s convicted of crimes.

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