Former Vice President Mike Pence recently criticized former President Donald Trump over his foreign policy stances, particularly when it comes to the war in Ukraine. His comments come as Ukraine mounted a major offensive on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, destroying one of its landing ships and a submarine.
During a Sunday interview, Pence discussed a wide range of topics, including House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, election integrity, and his former boss. Fox News host Howard Kurtz asked the former vice president about his previous comments about Trump, arguing that the former president “is offering…a siren song of populism, unmoored from true conservatism.”
Pence first responded by touting the Trump administration’s conservative record.
When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to govern as a conservative. For four years, we governed as Conservatives. We rebuilt our military. We stood strong on the world stage. We exercised that American leadership, we stood with our allies, stood up to our enemies. Our military took down the ISIS Caliphate. We stood with Israel as never before. We took out- You've got a long list. -Qasem Soleimani. Here at home, we cut taxes, we rolled back regulations, and we appointed Conservatives to our courts at every level, including three of the justices that sent Roe versus Wade to the ash heap of history. We governed as Conservatives.
The former vice president continued, noting that Trump “makes no such promise today” and accused him of “backing away from America as leader of the free world, talking the language of appeasement in the face of Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and the war raging in Ukraine.”
Pence also said Trump’s position on entitlements is “identical to Joe Biden’s” and pointed out that neither “want to talk about…cutting Medicare, reforming programs that are driving our national debt.”
He went on to discuss Trump’s comments on the midterm elections, asserting that his focus on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election was the reason why Republicans did not win as widely as they could have.
Donald Trump actually blamed losses in the midterm elections on us overturning Roe versus Wade. When I look at the midterm elections, it was candidates that were focused on the future did very well. Candidates who were focused on the past and many candidates he endorsed were relitigating the last election, did not fare well, including in states that we should have done well. Honestly, I take a different view of 2022 than my former running mate does, and I think the facts speak for themselves.
He added: “I think by complaining about the last election or complaining about people that don’t see that last presidential election in the same way he did or the Constitution in the same way, we’re going to be focused on each other when we should be focused outward.”
So far, Pence’s campaign has struggled to gain ground in the polling. The latest RealClearPolitics average has the former vice president at 4.5 percent support, which places him behind Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Ron DeSantis, and Trump. In a recent YouGov/Economist poll, 47 percent of Republican respondents indicated they would be disappointed to have Pence as the GOP nominee. Only Chris Christie ranked higher with 52 percent.