Pence will appear at CNN town hall amid speculation about his 2024 plans
By Eric Bradner, CNNUpdated: Wed, 16 Nov 2022 17:00:24 GMTSource: CNNFormer Vice President Mike Pence is set to participate in a CNN town hall at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, the day after former President DoBy Eric Bradner, CNN
Updated: Wed, 16 Nov 2022 17:00:24 GMT
Former Vice President Mike Pence is set to participate in a CNN town hall at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, the day after former President Donald Trump announced his entrance into the 2024 presidential race.
The event follows the release on Tuesday of Pence's autobiography, "So Help Me God," in which he detailed his fracture with Trump over the former president's actions leading up to and on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol in an effort to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Pence has already fanned speculation that he might face off against his former ticket-mate for the Republican presidential nomination.
Pence told ABC News in a recent interview that he and his family are giving "prayerful consideration" to the prospect of a 2024 presidential run.
Asked whether he believes Trump should be president again, Pence said: "I think we'll have better choices in the future."
"People in this country actually get along pretty well once you get out of politics. And I think they want to see their national leaders start to reflect that same, that same compassion and generosity of spirit," Pence said. "So, in the days ahead, I think there will be better choices."
The early stages of the 2024 race are playing out as Republicans sort through a disappointing midterm performance, when the GOP failed to win the Senate and picked up fewer seats than expected in the House.
Some party figures are bypassing Trump and Pence and pointing to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the party's future leader. DeSantis cruised to reelection last week, while many Trump-backed candidates in key swing states were defeated, in part because they parroted his lies about widespread election fraud.
Pence has broadly vouched for Trump's character and touted the policy record of their administration.
But he has split with the former president on whether Pence, in his role as vice president overseeing the counting of Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021, had any authority to attempt to overturn states' outcomes.
Pence wrote in his new memoir that Trump warned him days before the January 6 attack on the US Capitol that he would inspire the hatred of hundreds of thousands of people because he was "too honest" to attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Pence wrote that Trump told him in a New Year's Day phone call: "You're too honest," he chided, predicting that "hundreds of thousands are gonna hate your guts" and "people are gonna think you're stupid."
"Mr. President, I don't question there were irregularities and fraud," Pence wrote that he told Trump. "It's just a question of who decides, and under the law that is Congress."
"With that, the president said that he guessed it probably just 'takes courage,' implying that was what I lacked," Pence continued. "I paused before replying and, facing him from my seat in front of the Resolute Desk, said firmly, 'Mr. President, I have courage, and you know that.'"
Pence wrote that Trump relented and "said with more than a little sadness, 'Well, I'm gonna have to say you did a great disservice.'"
Pence, who said he refused to leave the Capitol on January 6, also wrote about his meeting with Trump in the days after January 6. Trump asked Pence, "Were you scared?" the former vice president wrote. "'No,' I replied, 'I was angry. You and I had our differences that day, Mr. President, and seeing those people tearing up the Capitol infuriated me.'"
Pence wrote that he told Trump he was praying for him and encouraged him to pray. Trump didn't say anything initially, Pence said, and then responded with "genuine sadness" in his voice: "What if we hadn't had the rally? What if they hadn't gone to the Capitol?"