Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the Mississippi State Capitol Saturday, promoting his new book and appealing to possible voters. The Republican Presidential hopeful is currently sitting below 5%, according to polling data from FiveThirtyEight.
During a panel at the Mississippi Book Festival, Pence spoke about his autobiography, “So Help Me God,” with former U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper. Pence also discussed the insurrection at the nation’s capitol on January 6, 2021, including his relationship with his now-opponent Donald Trump as that day’s events unfolded.
“I was always loyal to President Donald Trump because I believe that’s the role of the vice president. But I did have a higher loyalty, and that was to the Constitution and the promises that I made,” said Pence. “I had hoped all along the way that the president would come around and see that I had no authority to overturn the election – no vice president in American history had ever asserted that authority or should. The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone. But to see what unfolded that day was saddening to me – It was truly a tragic day.”
The former Vice President added that his wife Karen and daughter Charlotte had attended the ceremony where he was verifying state presidential election results when rioters breached the Capitol building, and they had to be sequestered to a safer area alongside him.
A 2022 congressional panel chaired by Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson probing the insurrection uncovered that some who entered the building did so under the pretense that Pence could overturn the results, thereby assuring victory and re-election for former President Donald J. Trump. Videos also showed many walking through the halls in search of legislators and chanting “hang Mike Pence.”
“All along the way, I was very clear with the president that I believed Article 2 of the Constitution simply says that once states have certified elections, that’s it,” said Pence. “The notion that any one person could decide which votes to count and which votes not to count, I thought, was antithetical to the very essence of the constitutional framework, and I made that clear all along the way. But frankly, it wasn’t until the last few days that it became clear to me that the president was going to go with a group of outside lawyers that told him what his itching ears wanted to hear.”