Pence’s rivals defend him over Jan. 6: ‘Mike did his duty’

GOP presidential candidates were faced with a key question Wednesday night: Did Mike Pence do the right thing on Jan. 6?

“Absolutely,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said, who was the first candidate to answer the question.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum agreed with Scott, though Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis danced around the question.

“It’s not about Jan. 6, 2021, it’s about Jan. 20, 2025, when the president is going to take office,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis later clarified and said “Mike did his duty. I got no beef with him.”

Christie interrupted the debate moderators to make his point known: “Mike Pence stood for the Constitution.”

“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 and the argument we need to have in this party before we can move onto the issues that Ron talked about is we have to dispense with the person who said we need to suspend the Constitution to put forward his political career,” Christie said.

Pence has defended his actions on Jan. 6 and has said former President Donald Trump “had no right to overturn the election” on Jan. 6. Then-Vice President Pence refused Trump’s pressure to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory when presiding over the certification of the election results.

“I made it clear and hoped that the issues surrounding the 2020 election and the controversies around Jan. 6 would not come to this, come to criminal proceedings,” Pence said. “The American people deserve to know that the president asked me in his request that I reject or return votes. He asked me to put him over the Constitution and I chose the Constitution.”

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