Former Vice President Mike Pence, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, was interviewed by NBC News’ Dasha Burns regarding the recent verdict in the sexual assault case against former President Donald Trump. When asked if the verdict changed his own view on whether Trump was fit to serve as president again, Pence responded that it was a question for the American people and that he had no knowledge of the matter.
“I think that’s a question for the American people. I really can’t comment on a judgment in a civil case,” Pence stated. “I have no knowledge of those matters and I’m sure the president will defend himself in that matter.”
Pence, who was targeted by Trump supporters during the Jan. 6 insurrection after he refused the then-president’s demands to overturn the 2020 election result, dismissed the verdict as “just one more story focusing on my former running mate that I know is a great fascination to members of the national media, but I just don’t think it’s where the American people are focused.”
Burns pressed Pence on whether he felt comfortable with someone who was found liable in a sexual assault case serving as president, to which Pence responded that he had never witnessed such behavior during his four and a half years serving alongside Trump and that he had no knowledge of the allegations or the truth behind them.
“I would tell you, in my four and a half years serving alongside the president, I never heard or witnessed behavior of that nature,” Pence said. “And so, again, I have no knowledge of those allegations or the truth or veracity of them and I wouldn’t want to comment on a civil judgment.”
The verdict in the case against Trump has sparked debate about his potential candidacy in the 2024 presidential election. While some supporters have dismissed the verdict as politically motivated, others have expressed concern about the implications of having a president with a history of sexual assault allegations.
Pence’s response to the verdict has been criticized by some as evasive and lacking in moral courage. Critics have pointed out that Pence was quick to defend Trump during his time as vice president, even in the face of numerous controversies and scandals.
“Pence’s response to the verdict is disappointing, but not surprising,” said political analyst Sarah Jones. “He has always been more concerned with protecting his political career than standing up for what is right. It’s clear that he is not willing to take a stand against Trump, even when it comes to issues as serious as sexual assault.”
Others have defended Pence’s response, arguing that he was simply being cautious and avoiding commenting on a matter that he had no direct knowledge of.
“Pence was right to be careful in his response,” said conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. “He is not a legal expert and he had no direct involvement in the case. It’s important to wait for all the facts to come out before making any definitive statements.”
Regardless of one’s opinion on Pence’s response, it is clear that the verdict in the case against Trump has reignited the debate about his potential candidacy in the 2024 presidential election. As the 2022 midterms approach, it remains to be seen how this controversy will impact the political landscape and the future of the Republican Party.