Former Vice President Mick Pence took the stage at a CNN Town Hall Wednesday on his 64th birthday in front of Republican voters in Des Moines, Iowa. Oddly, the event occurred on the same day that CNN chief Chris Licht is out at the network, in no small part because he backed a Trump Town Hall that caused the snowflakes at the “most trusted name in news” to openly rebel.

Pence, the former Indiana congressman, governor, and wingman to Trump, talked about Jan. 6, why he wants to be president, abortion, Ukraine, and a variety of topics in the 90-minute talk with host Dana Bash.

January 6

He once again stated that he thought Donald Trump was wrong to think that the vice president had the power to overturn the election:

…I felt that he was asking me to choose between him and the Constitution. I chose the Constitution. And I always will.

I said today President Trump was wrong then, he’s wrong now.

But then he leaned in even harder and said that his former Commander in Chief should never again occupy the Oval Office.

Anyone who puts themselves above the Constitution should never be president in the first place. And anyone who asks anyone else to put themselves over the Constitution should never be president again.

Pence said that if elected, he would not pardon any J6 participants:

You know, on the day of January 6, I issued a tweet demanding that people leave the Capitol. And grounds.

I said that those that failed to do that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I continue to believe that today.

Many Republican voters probably turned off the TV right then, even if they had bothered to tune in to CNN.

Why He’s Running

The former VP thinks he should be president because he believes “this country is in a lot of trouble,” noting that on issues like inflation and foreign policy, the Democrats have failed.

Now more than ever, I think those of us that have the experience to bring back real change and to put America back on a track of common sense, conservative principles have a responsibility to step forward.


Pence has long been known as a staunch abortion opponent, and Wednesday night, he reaffirmed his stance:

I’m pro-life and I don’t apologize for it.

All my time in Congress, I stood for the right the life. I authored the first legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. [Applause]

I believe that if you’re going to be pro-life you need to be pro-adoption.


Asked about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pence tried to separate himself from both Trump and DeSantis, taking a stronger pro-Ukraine stance than either of his rivals.

I know that some in this debate have called the war in Ukraine a territorial dispute. [That’s a clear jab at DeSantis.] It’s not, it was a Russian invasion, an unprovoked Russian invasion. And I believe the United States of America needs to continue to provide the courageous soldiers in Ukraine with the resources they need to repel that Russian invasion and restore their territorial integrity.

Mar-A-Lago Documents Case

This is one area in which Pence took Trump’s side, blasting the corrupt DOJ for its two-tiered system of justice. He said that indicting the former president would “send a terrible message to the world”:

I don’t know the facts of the former president’s case… but what we’ve got to have in this country is equal treatment under the law.

I was very troubled last summer when for the first time in history, there was a search warrant executed at the home of a former president of the United States.

Does He Have a Chance?

Pence appears to have little shot at the GOP nomination, as a RealClearPolitics averageshows him at 3.8 percent, compared to 53.2 for his former boss, Donald Trump, and 22.4 for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He’s always come across as an eminently decent guy, but he inspires little excitement—quite simply, he lacks electricity.

“Why are you covering him, then?” some will ask.

As RedState Managing Editor Jen Van Laar expressed in her piece, The Battle for the 2024 GOP Nomination Is On, we’re going to report on all the Republican candidates and let you decide what to think.