Former Vice President Mike Pence announced his candidacy for presidency Wednesday and said he wants Americans to follow him in choosing "the Constitution" over former President Donald Trump, he told Newsmax.
"As I said many times and I said again today: His words were reckless that day," Pence told "The Record With Greta Van Susteren" regarding Jan. 6 and how it led him to announce his campaign in Ankeny, Iowa, on Wednesday. "And with my wife, our daughter, my team at our side, I thought he endangered all of us at the Capitol by literally calling me out while a riot was unfolding.
"But that was not the core of my message today. The core I wanted to convey to people is that also in the midst of that President Trump asked me to choose between him and the Constitution."
Pence was circling back to his campaign announcement speech, in which he intimated Trump disqualified himself for president.
"I believe that anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States, and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president of the United States again," Pence said during his speech.
Pence told host Greta Van Susteren he does not know what Trump "intended" on Jan. 6, but it was a deal-breaker for him.
"It was a tragic day, and I wanted to address it today head-on," Pence told Van Susteren. "I want people to understand why I did what I did."
Trump wanted Pence as vice president to invalidate the Electoral College count in the 2020 election on the basis of voter fraud claims. But Pence said his authority presiding over the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 was merely to open envelopes and announce the vote count.
"I have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States," Pence told Van Susteren. "I laid out today, and your viewers can go and take a look themselves in Article 2, Section 3, where it clearly states the duties that I had presiding over a joint session of Congress to open and count votes.
"And I know in my heart of hearts that we did our duty that day.
"And I wanted people to understand that we kept our oath, as the Bible said; we kept our oath even when it hurts."
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Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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