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Former Vice President Mike Pence joined Chuck Todd on Meet the Press on Sunday. Pence talked extensively about his relationship with President Donald J. Trump and his time in the White House.

Right away he was asked about running for the Republican Party nomination in 2024.

“I think the American people love competition,” Pence said. “My loyalty is to my faith, to my values and to America. I think if we’re a part of that debate next year, our family will sort that out before the end of the year, or if we’re just chipping in from the sidelines and other are in that contest, I think a good healthy debate over the direction of the country is warranted.”

Pence blasted the Biden Administration, saying it seems intent on weakening America at home and abroad. He mentioned the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, enormous spending that has spurred inflation, the Biden War on Energy, the big city crime wave and the border crisis.

“I truly do believe Republican primary voters want to hear a strong debate,” he said. “They’ll want to find our best standard bearer. Having won back the House, we’ll have a chance to win back America in 2024.”

Pence said candidates focused on the future did well in the 2022 midterms. But candidates focused on “relitigating” the 2020 election didn’t fare as well, he said.

Chuck Todd asked Pence if Trump is fit to serve as President, but Pence dodged.

“I really do believe that’s a decision for the American people,” Pence said.

Todd pressed him asking if he thinks his opinion matters to the American people and if he’s sending that message considering he might run.

“I do think we’ll have better choices,” Pence said. “I won’t join those that want to dismiss the four years of our administration and all that we accomplished for the American people. The President’s leadership was central to our success in everything that was accomplished.”

Pence praised Trump for rebuilding the military, crushing ISIS, cutting taxes, rolling back regulations and creating jobs. He also credited Trump for his energy policies, securing the border and appointing three Supreme Court justices.

“I was proud to be his vice president and advance those policies that worked for the American people against an avalanche of opposition by the Democratic Party from day one and frankly by many in the national media who were preoccupied with controversies and conspiracies and the Russia, Russia, Russia message that dominated for two-and-a-half years,” Pence said. “So I want to give the President his due.”

Pence said he is “very clear” that the Trump-Pence Administration “did not end well.”

“When it came down to the peaceful transfer of power and doing my duty under the Constitution of the United States, we had the tragic day of January 6 and its aftermath,” Pence said. “And all of that in totality is the President’s record and the record the American people will decide upon.”

Pence said Trump received counsel from attorneys that was what his “itching ears” wanted to hear. Pence said Trump put together a gaggle of lawyers who put together conspiracy theories and promises they never kept. Pence criticized Sidney Powell by name.

“He was receiving terrible advice from people who not only shouldn’t have been in the Oval Office, they should not have been allowed on White House grounds,” Pence said.

Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, was also criticized by Pence.

“I was disappointed in Mark Meadows’ performance as chief of staff,” Pence said. “Particularly at the end.”

Todd asked Pence if he believed that Trump committed a criminal act in building up to the insurrection.

“I don’t know if it is criminal to listen to bad advice from lawyers,” Pence said. “The truth is what the President was repeating is what he was hearing from that gaggle of attorneys around him.”

Pence said Trump had to rely on his team and the credibility of those around him.

“As time goes on I hope we can move beyond this, beyond that prospect,” Pence said. “And this is really a time when our country ought to be healing.”

Author: Jacob Hall


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