Former Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday argued that President Biden has been using the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol as the focus of his 2024 presidential campaign to distract Americans from his administration’s poor record that has “weakened America at home and abroad.”
Pence appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” from Israel, where he was visiting families of those taken hostage by Hamas terrorists in the Oct. 7 attack, and stated that he believed Jan. 6 would not decide the upcoming election.
“I actually don’t think the election’s going to be decided on a tragic day three years ago,” Pence said. “I think it’s going to be decided on the failed policies of the Biden administration that have emboldened the enemies of freedom around the world, that launched the worst inflation, that created the worst crisis on our border in American history.”
“I understand why President Biden wants to focus his campaign on three years ago, the record of this administration has weakened America at home and abroad,” the former vice president said.
Biden’s campaign has doubled down on Jan. 6-related attacks against former President Trump following the poor performance of the White House’s “Bidenomics” messaging. On Friday, Biden attacked his predecessor during a speech in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, saying Trump is “trying to steal history the same way he tried to steal the election.”
Pence also criticized attempts to remove Trump from presidential ballots, as happened in Colorado and Maine, arguing that doing so would be “antithetical” to democracy
“I think these efforts to take the decision away from the American people are really antithetical to the very democracy that President Biden and many Democrats talk about wanting to defend,” he said.
Pence also addressed the hospitalization of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, which was kept under wraps for nearly a week.
“To think that at a time when we have allies at war in Eastern Europe and here in Israel, that the leader of America’s military at the Pentagon would be out of commission for a number of days and the president didn’t know about it is a dereliction of duty.”
Austin was in an intensive care unit for days following elective surgery but is now recovering and resumed full duties Friday night, according to reports. It is still unclear why Austin was hospitalized in the first place, what the elective procedure was or when it occurred.
“The handling of this by the secretary of defense is totally unacceptable,” Pence said. “I believe the American people have the right to know about his medical condition, about the reasons for it, and has a right to know who was informed of his incapacity.”
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