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Pence avoids Trump talk and mocks ‘woke’ protesters during Stanford speech

Former vice president also defended his actions on January 6

Eric Garcia
Friday 18 February 2022 21:02 GMT
(Getty Images)

Former vice president Mike Pence addressed students at Stanford University, mocking protesters who opposed his visit to the campus while at the same time avoiding talking about former president Donald Trump but defending the Republican Party’s censure of Reps Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

Mr Pence’s address was entitled “How to save America from the woke Left,” which in turn met led to protesters on Stanford’s campus chant “We are the woke left” and other chants expressing their displeasure with the former vice president speaking.

“I understand it took a little bit of doing to get me on the campus, but I gotta tell you, the stand that you took for freedom of speech on the campus of Stanford inspired people around the country,” he said.

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In turn, Mr Pence also threw his support behind the Republican National Committee censuring Ms Cheney and Mr Kinzinger for being part of the House of Representatives’s select committee investigating the 6 January riot on the Capitol, wherein supporters of Mr Trump’s yelled “hang Mike Pence” for his unwillingness to overturn the 2020 election results.

The RNC had said that the two Republicans were “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.” But Mr Pence said that he understood that the RNC was not condoning violence.

“I just don’t know too many people around the country, including my friends at the RNC, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, who have any different view than it was tragic day, that the people that ransacked the Capitol were wrong and should be held to account in the law,” he said according to The Washington Post.

“And I think they made a very clear statement, after the fact, that said, ‘We were talking about what’s happening in Washington today, with the January 6th committee’ … and I believe them. They’re good people, and I believe that’s what they meant.”

Mr Pence also defended his actions on the day when the Electoral College was set to be certified and repeated what he has said in response to Mr Trump’s calls for him to overturn the election.

“The Constitution was quite clear on that tragic day in January,” he told a student. “I knew what my duty was. And I kept my oath even though it hurt. And we moved the nation forward. And I don’t know if the president and I will ever see eye to eye on that. I really don’t.”

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