Former Vice President Mike Pence balked at trading “insults” with his former boss after a registered independent voter doubted he would “stand up to him” at a meet-and-greet event in New Hampshire.
Pence, who will be running against former President Donald Trump in next year’s Republican presidential primary, listened as the voter – Tom Loughlin – gave what he called an “honest comment” on his prospects in the White House. ABC News reported.
“I would like to see you as President of the United States. I will only give you an honest comment. I don’t think you ever will be until you face that man,” Loughlin told Pence.
Pence, who once said Trump “must never be president” based on his Jan. 6, 2021 coup attempt, hit back at the voter’s remark.
“Some people think that two and a half years ago we made ourselves pretty strong…I joined the map because there was a tacit commitment that we would govern as Conservatives and we did…but honestly I don’t think he’s making any such commitment today,” the former vice president said.
“I have no interest in exchanging insults with my old friend. I’m not. And some people think that’s how you win the presidency. I don’t But to present the American people with a choice. We did it. We will keep doing it.”
Pence’s comments arrive about a month ahead of the GOP’s first primary debate in Milwaukee, an event Trump is hosting threatened to be passed on.
Several candidates have announced that they have met the Republican National Committee’s 40,000 unique donor criteria for the debate, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and gift card-donating North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
Pence and his campaign are yet to reveal if he’s hit the threshold. ABC News noted.
Loughlin said he was “sick” because of Pence poll numbers — who lag behind Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy on average — and urged him to crack down on the former president.
“This man deserves better for the people of this country. He needs to talk about the future. And he needs to talk about how dangerous this man is to our country,” Loughlin said.