Former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence says he hopes conservative majority on Supreme Court will restrict abortion access Federal judge to hear case of Proud Boy alleged Jan. 6 rioter seeking release from jail The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems attempt to tie government funding, Ida relief to debt limit MORE on Friday slammed President BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE's recently announced coronavirus vaccine mandates in an interview on Fox News, saying Biden's announcement was "unlike anything I have ever heard from an American president."
"To have the president of the United States say that he's been patient, but his patience is wearing thin, that's not how the American people expect to be spoken to by our elected leaders," Pence, who has been floated as a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate, told "Fox & Friends" in his first national television interview in nearly a year.
"The president should simply continue, as we have done, to lead by example. Encourage people to take the vaccine, as Karen and I did on national television back in December," he continued.
On Thursday, Biden announced that all private employers with 100 or more employees must require COVID-19 vaccination or daily testing for workers.
“What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We’ve made vaccinations free, safe and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval, over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot,” Biden said, addressing unvaccinated Americans. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and the refusal has cost all of us. So please do the right thing.”
Additionally, Biden called on governors to mandate the vaccine for teachers and school staff.
"This is not about freedom or personal choice," Biden said. "It's about protecting yourself and those around you, the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love. My job as president is to protect all Americans."
Pence hit back on Friday, saying "it's exactly about freedom."
"Now to have a president not just scolding the American people, but governors around the country, it's just not the American way," the former vice president and Indiana governor said.
Pence joins a chorus of Republican backlash to Biden's vaccine mandates, which comes as coronavirus cases surge in the U.S. amid the spread of the delta variant. The Republican National Committee late on Thursday vowed to sue the administration over its vaccine and testing mandates, while various GOP governors have promised to take Biden to court over the mandates.