RNC resolution citing Jan. 6 as 'legitimate political discourse' misconstrued: Pence

He said it refers to a "whole range of people" investigated by the House probe.

February 18, 2022, 7:51 PM

Former Vice President Mike Pence has defended the Republican National Committee censure of GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, arguing that the resolution referring to Jan. 6 as "legitimate political discourse" was misconstrued.

During the Q&A portion of an appearance Thursday evening with Stanford University students, Pence asserted that he believes the committee's reference to "citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse" referred to "a whole range of people that have been set upon" by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the 2020 election.

"I just don't know too many people around the country, including my friends at the RNC and the chairman of the Republican National Committee who have any different views than it was a tragic day," Pence said. He also added that "the people that ransacked the Capitol were wrong should be held to account in the law."

Ronna McDaniel, the GOP chairwoman, speaks during the Republican National Committee winter meeting, Feb. 4, 2022, in Salt Lake City.
Rick Bowmer/AP

Pence also touched on how he and former President Donald Trump may never see "eye to eye" on what happened on Jan. 6, but also how he was proud of the work he and Trump accomplished together.

"I knew what my duty was and I kept my oath even though it hurt," Pence said. "But I will always be proud of the record that President Donald Trump and I created for the American people and I'm determined to continue to lead our nation to freedom."

Pence's remarks come a few weeks after he rebuked Trump for his false claims that Pence had the power to overturn the election in his role counting the electoral votes from the November election before Congress.

"There are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress that I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral College votes. And I heard this week that former President Trump said I had the right to 'overturn the election,'" Pence said in a speech to a local chapter of the Federalist Society in Florida.

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Advancing Freedom Lecture Series at Stanford University, on Feb. 17, 2022, in Stanford, Calif.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"President Trump is wrong. … I had no right to overturn the election," he said. "The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. And frankly there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president."

Pence made those remarks just hours after the RNC passed its resolution.

Pence's event was organized by the university's College Republicans and marked Pence's first major public event since declaring that Trump was "wrong" about Pence's power to overturn the election results.

The event was titled "How to Save America from the Woke Left," and Pence discussed multiple topics, including the Trump's administration record, the pandemic, and more.

Pence's speech at Stanford was one of many recent lectures he has given while traveling and speaking at different universities across the country. He has made previous stops at the University of Iowa and Texas A&M.

ABC News' Brittany Shepherd contributed to this report

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