Vice President Mike Pence’s political future looks murky after he decisively broke with President Trump to preside over the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Pence has been a loyal Trump understudy and a reliable bridge between MAGA populists and movement conservatives, especially the evangelicals among them. He had hoped to ride these traits into the 2024 Republican presidential primaries. But Trump’s repeated public insistence that Pence reject Biden electors from contested battleground states, something the vice president declared he had no constitutional authority whatsoever to do, has strained their relationship, possibly to the breaking point.
Trump all but called Pence a coward. “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution,” Trump tweeted in a post that was later deleted. “I’ve known Mike Pence forever,” Sen. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, told a local newspaper. “I’ve never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”