In a rare moment of clarity, former Vice President Mike Pence mustered the courage to criticize his former boss, Donald Trump, at the Gridiron Dinner last night, a gathering of political elites in Washington DC. Pence condemned Trump’s role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, stating unequivocally that “President Trump was wrong.”

Pence’s resounding rebuke of Trump’s actions, was a departure from his usual deferential stance towards the former President. With an air of righteous indignation, Pence declared that he had no right to overturn the election and that Trump’s reckless words endangered not only his own family but also the lives of everyone present at the Capitol that day.

“I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know history will hold Donald Trump accountable,” said Pence.

While some may view this as an act of political self-preservation for his own presidential bid in 2024, a strategic move to distance himself from Trump and appeal to more moderate voters, many see Pence’s speech as an act of political courage. “Make no mistake about it, what happened that day was a disgrace,” Pence said. “And it mocks decency to portray it any other way.”

One of the most cutting remarks in Pence’s speech was his biting sarcasm towards the notion that the January 6th insurrection was a mere sightseeing tour. “Tourists don’t injure 140 police officers by sightseeing,” Pence said. “Tourists don’t break down doors to get to the Speaker of the House or voice threats against public officials.”

Pence also took a swipe at Trump’s handling of classified documents. “I read that some of those classified documents they found at Mar-a-Lago were actually stuck in the president’s Bible, which proves he had absolutely no idea they were there,” Pence quipped.

The rift between Trump and Pence widens, setting the stage for a battle over the Republican nomination in next year’s election. Pence’s criticism of Trump could signal a shift within the party away from Trumpism and towards a more traditional conservatism.


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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...

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