Mike Pence is still pushing Trump's Big Lie as Trump reportedly plots to push him off 2024 ticket

Pence is still hailing to a chief that no longer wants him as second in command

By Jon Skolnik
March 3, 2021 10:45PM (UTC)
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Mike Pence, Donald Trump, and the Trump supporters mobbing the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021. (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, former Vice President Mike Pence broke his post-election silence to attack H.R. 1, the Democratic-backed election reform and anti-corruption bill, to stir up the same baseless election conspiracies that he and his former boss peddled leading up to the 2020 election and all the way up to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that nearly cost him his life.

In an op-ed in the Daily Signal, a blog for the conservative Heritage Foundation, Pence accused Democrats of sweeping "valid concerns and reforms" about election security aside to "push forward a brazen attempt to nationalize elections in blatant disregard of the U.S. Constitution."

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Pence did not make any specific mention of the 2020 election, in which his former Republican colleagues baselessly pushed forward a movement to overturn the results and undermine faith in U.S. elections, in his column. He, instead, argued that the specifics of H.R. 1, otherwise known as the For the People Act, might conceivably undermine the security of future elections. 

"Congressional districts would be redrawn by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats," Pence alleged. "Illegal immigrants and law-abiding American citizens would receive equal representation in Congress. Felons would be able to vote the moment they set foot out of prison."

He continued, "H.R. 1 is also loaded with ill-advised changes to federal campaign laws that would impose onerous legal and administrative burdens on candidates, civic groups, unions, nonprofit organizations, and ordinary citizens who want to exercise their First Amendment rights to engage in political speech, including on public policy issues that are vital to the life of our nation."

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Pence did stress the need for election reform, but only at the federal level.

"Our Founders limited Congress' role in conducting our elections for good reason," he said, "They wanted elections to be administered closest to the people, free from undue influence of the national government."

The op-ed comes as Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that Donald Trump is weighing a 2024 bid without Pence on the ticket.

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According to people close with the former president, Trump's advisers are discussing a woman or Black running mate. One adviser suggested Trump might tap South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. According to Bloomberg, Donald Trump, Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, are planning a fundraiser for Noem on Friday in Palm Beach. On Tuesday, Trump also publicly endorsed the re-election of Sen. Tim Scott, R-N.C, the only black Republican in the Senate. .

Leading up to election certification on Jan. 6, Trump publicly pressured Pence to reject the Electoral College's votes. But Pence did not make an effort to grant his request and remained out of the public eye until Joe Biden's inauguration, which Pence attended.  

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During his speech at CPAC last weekend, Trump hinted at making another bid for the White House in 2024.

"Who knows," he'd said, "I may even decide to beat them a third time." By contrast, Pence rejected an invitation to the event, where just 1% of convention-goers named him when asked who they would vote for if the Republican primary for president were held today.


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, AlterNet, and The New York Daily News.

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