“‘Trump Is Wrong,’ Pence Says of False Claim About Overturning Election”


Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday offered his most forceful rebuke of Donald Trump, saying that Mr. Trump is “wrong” that Mr. Pence had the legal authority to change the results of the 2020 election and that the Republican Party must accept the outcome and look toward the future.

Speaking to a gathering of conservatives near Orlando, Fla., the former vice president said he understands “the disappointment so many feel about the last election” but repudiated Mr. Trump’s false claims that Mr. Pence could reject the Electoral College results and alter the outcome last year.

“President Trump is wrong,” said Mr. Pence, in his remarks before the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization. “I had no right to overturn the election.”

The comments marked the strongest rejection of Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election by his former vice president….

Mr. Pence cast his opposition on Friday as larger than the immediate political moment, implying that the false claims pushed by Mr. Trump and his followers threatened to undermine American democracy.

“The truth is there’s more at stake than our party or our political fortunes,” he said. “If we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections — we’ll lose our country.”

In a speech that largely focused on attacking the policies and record of the Biden administration, Mr. Pence described Jan. 6 as a “dark day” in Washington. Such a description runs counter to an attempt by some on the right to rewrite history by describing the siege as a peaceful rally and by calling the rioters “political prisoners.” And he urged Mr. Trump and his party to accept the results of the last election.

“Whatever the future holds, I know we did our duty that day,” Mr. Pence said. “I believe the time has come to focus on the future.”

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