Former Vice President Mike Pence addresses the GOP Lincoln-Reagan Dinner on June 3, 2021 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images
- Several Republicans thanked Mike Pence for upholding his constitutional duty on January 6.
- Some lawmakers also encouraged Pence to run for president in 2024.
- The comments came during Pence’s first trip to the Capitol since he left office in 2021.
Several Republican lawmakers during a meeting on Capitol Hill on Wednesday praised former Vice President Mike Pence for upholding his constitutional duty on January 6, 2021, and encouraged him to run for president in 2024, according to multiple news reports.
“I just want to say thank you for defending our Constitution,” Rep. Chip Roy of Texas told Pence in the meeting, per Axios.
“I’m happy to shout it from Mar-A-Lago to Bedminster,” Roy continued, referencing former President Donald Trump’s clubs in Florida and New Jersey. “But I just want you to know how grateful we are.”
The remarks, met with applause from other Republican lawmakers in the room, were made during Pence’s meeting with the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative congressional caucus, per CNN.
In the lead up to January 6, 2021 — the day Congress would certify then-President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 victory — Trump and his allies pressured Pence to throw out Electoral College votes in battleground states. Pence rejected the push, saying he had no constitutional authority as vice president to change the election results and that his role was only to formally preside over the certification.
“People thanked him for his courage and doing the right thing,” Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska told Politico after Wednesday’s meeting.
This marked Pence’s first trip to the Capitol since he left office in 2021. The former vice president’s appearance comes as speculation swirls over his possible 2024 presidential bid. Other rumored 2024 candidates, such as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, have also met with the influential Republican Study Committee.
—Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) July 20, 2022
Bacon told CNN that multiple lawmakers offered words of encouragement for Pence to run in 2024, though the former vice president did not broach the subject, instead saying he’s focused on helping Republicans win in this year’s midterms.
Over the past year, Pence has endorsed a slew of House Republicans, speaking at campaign events and holding fundraisers on their behalf in several states, especially in the Midwest, sparking rumors about whether he plans to make a bid for the White House in 2024, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
In the wake of the Capitol attack, Pence has distanced himself from Trump, as the former president also teases a 2024 run.