Former Vice President Mike Pence drew fire Monday night after he downplayed the deadly Capitol riot and accused the media of trying to “demean” Trump voters and “distract from the Biden administration’s failed agenda.”
Numerous observers pointed out that many within the mob that overtook the Capitol on Jan. 6 targeted Pence for refusing to help then-president Donald Trump overturn the 2020 election, which President Joe Biden won.
“How can you deny that Trump’s mob built the gallows to hang you, Mike Pence? You are a menace to our Democracy,” fumed one observer on Twitter.
“Trump sent people to kill you, bro,” said actress Martha Kelly after Pence tweeted a clip from his interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, during which he also advertised his new podcast.
On Hannity’s show, Pence sidestepped the violent nature of the Capitol assault and the threat to his own life. “I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration’s failed agenda by focusing on one day in January,” Pence told Hannity.
“They want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and 2020,” he said, adding he wants to “remain focused on the future.”
CNN political commentator SE Cupp called his comments “grating” Tuesday morning, while anchor John Berman said, “The media wasn’t chanting, ‘Hang Mike Pence.’ The insurrectionists were.”
Similarly, the Recount, a political news and video site, sarcastically suggested the former vice president thought rioters were chanting, “Hang with Mike Pence.”
Pence, like other elected officials, was rushed to safety that day as rioters set up a gallows and screamed his name. Prior to the riot, Trump had been tweeting about Pence specifically, calling on him not to certify the election result.