Jan. 6 aftermath
Looking back on the events of Jan. 6, former Vice President Mike Pence told a crowd of California Republicans on Thursday night that he will "always be proud to have played a small part on that tragic day when we reconvened the Congress and fulfilled our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States."
Pence delivered his address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley as part of a series of events discussing the future of the Republican Party. On Jan. 6, supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to try to interfere with the certification of President Biden's victory. Trump falsely claimed that Pence had the authority to stop the proceedings, and some members of the mob shouted, "Hang Mike Pence!"
The former vice president didn't talk about those chants, but did say the "truth is, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could chose the American president," adding that if Republicans "lose faith in the Constitution, we won't just lose elections — we'll lose our country."
Pence did praise Trump, comparing him to Reagan and saying both men energized the GOP. He called on Republicans to be the "loyal opposition" to Democrats, and said they must stick to "our party's traditional conservative priorities — maintaining a strong national defense, free market economics, traditional values, and the right to life." At the same time, the GOP agenda needs to also include the "new pillars that President Trump brought to the fore as we served — ideas that fired the imagination of everyday Americans and expanded the reach and appeal of the Republican Party."