WASHINGTON ― Just 1,500 feet from where donald trump incited his attempted coup, and barely a mile from where the ex-president’s mob wanted to hang him, mike pence he chose not to mention any of that during a half-hour speech Tuesday before a gathering of conservative college students.
The former vice president mentioned Trump only a few times in his remarks, always in the context of what he called the conservative achievements of the “Trump-Pence” administration. He specifically cited January 6, 2021, just once, as one of a series of unfortunate events that had occurred in the United States in recent years.
“Global pandemic. Civil unrest. Divisive election. A tragic day in our nation’s capital and a Democratic administration seemingly determined to undermine America at home and abroad,” he said.
Pence, who is almost certain to run for president in 2024, used the euphemistic language used by many in his party that they would prefer someone other than Trump as their candidate.
“Now some people may choose to focus on the past. But the election is about the future,” Pence said, alluding to Trump’s endless lies that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him. “Conservatives need to focus on the future to take America back.”
Pence for the most part addressed the standard topics that Republicans have been using to attack President Joe Biden and Democrats in general ahead of this fall’s midterm elections: border security, gas prices, inflation, taking on China, women’s sports and oppose the so-called critics. career theory
When asked about Pence’s failure to mention the coup attempt, a Pence aide, on condition of anonymity, hit out at another favorite Republican message: attacking the media.
“While the offline media focuses on the past and tries to inject January 6 into every conversation, Americans are worrying about how they are going to pay their next bill or how they are going to fill their gas tank,” the attendee told HuffPost. . “Mike Pence is focused on the future and on electing conservative leaders who will help solve these problems and restore security and prosperity to America.”
Pence addressed several hundred students attending the Young America Foundation conference at the JW Marriott on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is located a quarter mile from Ellipse Park where Trump held his pre-insurrection rally on January 6, and just over a mile from the Capitol, where Pence, his staff and family had to hide for hours that day to avoid Trump mob.
The hotel is also less than a mile from the Marriott Marquis hotel, where Trump will speak later Tuesday, on his first visit to the nation’s capital since leaving office on Jan. 20, 2021.
For weeks after the 2020 election, Pence resisted Trump’s efforts to pressure him into simply declaring Trump the winner during the January 6 congressional certification ceremony. Trump again tried to pressure Pence in one last phone call that morning, just before he headed to the Ellipse. There, Trump peppered his prepared speech with numerous off-the-cuff false claims that Pence had the ability to declare him the winner. He also added several exhortations for his followers to march to the Capitol and fight for him.
After Pence published a letter explaining that he did not have that authority, Trump responded with a post on his Twitter account stating that Pence had lacked the “courage” to nullify the election for him, which served to infuriate his followers even more.
During the committee hearings on January 6, testimony revealed that Trump was in agreement with the mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” as they scoured the Capitol building looking for him, and that Trump refused for hours to tell his supporters to stop attacking him and go home.
Trump, despite losing the election by 7 million votes nationally and 306-232 in the Electoral College, became the first US president in more than two centuries of elections to refuse to hand over power peacefully. . His incitement to storm the Capitol on January 6, his last attempt to stay in office, killed five people, including a police officer; wounded 140 other officers; and led to four police suicides.
Yet Trump remains the dominant figure in the GOP and is openly talking about running for president again in 2024.
In statements on his personal social media platform, Trump has continued to lie about the election and the committee’s work on January 6, calling it a “hoax” similar to previous investigations into accepting Russian aid in his 2016 campaign and his attempt at extortion. Ukraine to help in his 2020 campaign.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.