During a speech at the Reagan Library on Thursday night, former vice president Mike Pence made news when he said the notion the vice president could simply refuse to count Electoral College votes — something Donald Trump publicly urge Pence to do — is one of the most “un-American” ideas imaginable.
Some key lines from Pence’s remarks via Zachary Evans:
“The Constitution affords the vice president no authority to reject or return electoral votes submitted to the Congress by the states,” Pence said. “Truth is, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president. “
Pence added, “I will always be proud to have played a small part on that tragic day when we reconvened the Congress and fulfilled our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.” He warned that “if we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections — we’ll lose our country.”
“Now more than ever, America needs the Republican Party to be the party of the Constitution,” Pence said.
Despite his final rift with Trump, it would be foolish to write off Pence as a presidential contender — just as it was foolish to write off former vice president Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Former vice presidents tend to have a pretty good track record in the primaries, and a new Echelon Insights poll out this week shows Pence clocking in at second place behind Florida governor Ron DeSantis in a hypothetical GOP primary in which Donald Trump is not a candidate:
Governor Ron DeSantis leads the non-Trump 2024 GOP Primary field with 21% of the vote. Former VP Mike Pence comes in at second with 14% of support. pic.twitter.com/kcMWAQnfzv
— Echelon Insights (@EchelonInsights) June 24, 2021