ROCHESTER, N.H. – Former Vice President Mike Pence is working to defeat his former running mate for the 2024 Republican nomination.
But Pence doesn’t appear to agree with some in the GOP who want to boot former President Donald Trump from the primary ballot.
“I always think these questions should be left to voters,” Pence said Tuesday during a Fox News Digital interview as the former vice president greeted customers at a bakery in a working-class city in New Hampshire, the state that votes second in the Republican presidential nominating calendar.
Some Republicans in New Hampshire and a handful of other states across the country are questioning the former president’s eligibility to run for the White House, and they cite Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That section disqualifies those who’ve taken an oath to support the Constitution from holding office again if they’ve “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S. “or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Ever since Trump launched his third straight White House bid last November, there’s been talk of invoking the 14th Amendment to keep him off the ballot. But with his recent indictments in federal court and in Georgia on charges he attempted to overturn the results of his 2020 election loss to President Biden, the push has gained momentum.
Asked about efforts to remove Trump from the ballot, Pence pointed out that Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire “recently reflected that he fully expected the president to be on the ballot here in New Hampshire.”
“Not only do I expect him to be on the ballot, but I hope he’s on the debate stage really soon,” Pence said as he pointed to the second Republican presidential nomination debate, a Fox Business-hosted showdown at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on Sept. 27.
“We’re headed to California for the second Republican presidential debate and I hope my former running mate is there, so we can really have a debate over the future of this country,” Pence added.
Pence spent four years as Trump’s loyal vice president, but everything changed between the two men on Jan. 6, 2021.
Pence was at the U.S. Capitol at the time it was attacked, where he was overseeing the joint session of Congress as it was certifying President Biden’s 2020 Electoral College victory over Trump. He was forced, along with members of Congress, to temporarily flee to safety as the rioters – some chanting that the then-vice president should be hanged – stormed the Capitol. By following his constitutional duties instead of following Trump’s wishes and overturn the results, Pence has endured the wrath of the former president and plenty of Trump’s most devout loyalists and supporters.
Trump – who was indicted twice last month in federal court in Washington, D.C., and in a Fulton County court in Georgia on charges he aimed to overturn his electoral loss to Biden – remains the commanding front-runner for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination.
Pence is far behind his former running mate with support polling in the single digits along with most of the rest of the large field of GOP presidential contenders.
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