Pence to GOP: Stop ‘fighting yesterday’s battles’

Former Vice President Mike Pence during the 2021 Free Iran Summit in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 28, 2021.
Julia Nikhinson

Former Vice President Mike Pence in a speech Friday night will call on Republicans to move beyond “relitigating” the 2020 election as the GOP hopes to flip both chambers of Congress this November. 

Pence, in an address to the party’s donors, will say Republicans can only win “if we are united around an optimistic vision for the future based on our highest values.”

“We cannot win by fighting yesterday’s battles, or by relitigating the past,” he’ll add, according to prepared remarks. “Republicans can only win by offering real, lasting solutions to the problems Democrats have created for the American people.”

The stance again puts him squarely at odds with former President Trump, who has repeatedly asserted unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and irregularities in the 2020 race.

Pence has sporadically voiced disagreements with Trump over the election as well as his ability as the then-vice president in Jan. 2021 to overturn the election results.

Following his loss, Trump waged a concerted effort to pressure Pence into overturning the Electoral College tally when he oversaw Congress’s certification of the results on Jan. 6, 2021. Pence rebuffed the calls from Trump, maintaining his role that day was purely symbolic.

Pence issued his strongest rebuke to Trump last month when he said the idea that he could have overturned the election results was “un-American.”

“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence continued. “The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. Frankly, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.” 

While Pence and other lawmakers in Washington have voiced a desire to move on from grumbling over 2020, claims of voter fraud are still being discussed across the midterm map. 

GOP candidates running in several races have expressed support for Trump’s claims that the election was “stolen” from him, and Republican governors across the country are passing laws to restrict access to the ballot.

The power of the claims was put into stark relief this week after a Republican investigation of the 2020 presidential race in Wisconsin said in a draft report Tuesday that the state legislature can decertify election results after the race is over.

Pence, however, will suggest Friday that a more forward-looking agenda will pay more dividends in November.

“If Republicans come together and focus on the future, we won’t just win the next election,” he’ll say. “We will win a future of freedom for all the American people.”

Tags Attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election Donald Trump Donald Trump Mike Pence United States presidential election
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