Pence 'not going to engage in negative personal attacks' with Trump
The former president "can continue to ... hold forth and level his broadsides."
Former Vice President Mike Pence said in a new interview with ABC News that he's not interested in trading insults with former President Donald Trump, who has been criticizing Pence online and on the campaign trail -- especially in the wake of Trump’s latest indictment.
In a sit-down in Ankeny, Iowa, ABC News Live Prime anchor Linsey Davis pointed to one recent social media post from Trump that accused Pence of going to the "dark side."
"How do you respond to that?" Davis asked in a clip from the interview, which will air on Monday night.
"Well, I don't," Pence replied, shaking his head and chuckling. "Look, I know the former president pretty well. I think more and more Americans every day are getting to know us, getting to know our lifetime of commitment to the conservative agenda. And I'm very heartened by the fact -- and you saw it at the Iowa State Fair this week -- how many people come up to us on a regular basis and thank us for the stand that we took on that fateful day [on Jan. 6]."
"So I'll be taking my record to the American people, and the president can continue to do what he does: He can continue to hold forth and level his broadsides," Pence told Davis. "But for me, I'm not going to engage in negative personal attacks."
Watch more from Mike Pence’s sit-down interview with Linsey Davis on Monday at 7 p.m. ET on ABC News Live Prime.
"I'm going to draw the contrast, lay out the choice and focus on how we make this country more prosperous and more secure after the disastrous policies of President Joe Biden and the White House," Pence said.
Since he and Trump left office, Pence -- while touting many of his accomplishments with Trump -- has become increasingly vocal about disagreeing with Trump's push to have him reject their election defeat as he presided over Congress in a ceremonial role on Jan. 6, 2021.
That episode is a key part of Trump's third criminal indictment, out of Washington, which accuses him of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
Pence's role as vice president is mentioned more than 100 times in the indictment.
Trump has pleaded not guilty and claims the cases are politically motivated.
Pence has described on the campaign trail -- as he challenges the former president for the 2024 Republican nomination -- how, he said, he stood by the Constitution on Jan. 6 despite Trump demanding he do otherwise.
Trump accused Pence last week on his Truth Social platform of having "gone to the dark side," mocking him as "delusional." Trump also maintained that he never told “Pence to put me above the Constitution.”
Pence choosing not to engage follows a familiar refrain of his on the stump: a promise "to restore a threshold of civility in public life."
Pence has not ruled out voting for Trump in 2024 but has said, "I don't think I'll have to."