Did Pence Do the Right Thing? Candidates Weigh In

GOP rivals praise the former vice president's actions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2023 9:25 PM CDT
Did Pence Do the Right Thing? Candidates Weigh In
Republican presidential candidates, from left, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stand on stage before a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by Fox News Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The first hour of the Wednesday night Republican debate was largely devoid of the topic of Donald Trump. That changed in hour two, however, as the Fox News moderators asked about the absent frontrunner. At one point, the specific question was posed: Did Mike Pence do the right thing when he refused to go along with Trump's request to refuse to certify the election results? Some highlights:

  • Ron DeSantis: He would not initially answer the question and said the focus should be on 2024, not 2020. When pressed by Pence himself, DeSantis said, "Mike did his duty, I've got no beef with him," per the New York Times.
  • Chris Christie: "Mike Pence stood for the Constitution," he said, offering the strongest praise. "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."

  • Tim Scott: "Absolutely, he did the right thing," said Scott, per CNN.
  • Nikki Haley: "I do think he did the right thing. We need to give him credit for that. But she added, "We have to face the fact that Trump is the most disliked politician in America. We can't win a general election that way."
  • Doug Burgum: "Mike Pence did the right thing on Jan. 6."
  • Pence: Trump "asked me to put him over the Constitution," the former vice president said. "I chose the Constitution and I always will."
(More Republican debate stories.)

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