Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared on Wednesday to reference the riot on the Capitol, saying that conservatives must keep their oath to the Structure “even when it hurts.”
Pence spoke on the convocation ceremony for Liberty University, the evangelical Christian school that has been embroiled in controversy the past several years attributable to its handling of sex assault cases and its disgraced former president and chancellor.
“As constitutional conservatives, the American people must know that we are going to all the time keep our oath to the Structure, even when it could be politically expedient to do otherwise,” Pence told Liberty students in Lynchburg, Virginia. “We must, because the Bible says in Psalm 15, be prepared to maintain our oath even when it hurts.”
The previous vice chairman’s comments appeared to reference Jan. 6, 2021, where former President Donald Trump incited his followers to violently storm the Capitol and stop Pence and members of Congress from certifying the 2020 election by any means possible. Despite Trump and his followers pushing the damaging lie that the election was stolen from the previous president, Pence continued his constitutional duty of certifying the outcomes for President Joe Biden.
“, I feel there’s a standard misperception in your generation as well that adversity creates character. Well, I even have a special view,” Pence said on Wednesday. “I mean, the best way you all put it’s, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.’ Well, I feel whatever doesn’t kill you, just didn’t kill you.
“Adversity doesn’t create character, adversity reveals character. When the hard times come, when your convictions are tested, you shall be in that moment the person or woman you had been preparing to be on every quiet day before.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence addresses the Convocation at Liberty University Wednesday Sep. 14, 2022, in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Steve Helber via Associated Press
Trump had publicly pressured Pence into declaring him the winner throughout the certification ceremony, despite the previous president having lost the election. The previous vice chairman was then pressured by Trump in a final phone call the morning of Jan. 6, just before the previous president went to the Ellipse and delivered a speech containing lies that Pence had the power to declare him the winner.
Just hours after Pence publicly declined to follow Trump’s orders that day, the previous president tweeted that his vice chairman “didn’t have the courage” to do what was needed to maintain him in power — further angering the violent mob that had already breached the Capitol.
Based on the House Jan. 6 committee, members of the Proud Boys — a pro-Trump neofascist group — were prepared to murder Pence on the day of the electoral certification. Rioters were recorded outside the Capitol chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!” and constructing a mock gallows. At one point, members of the mob were only 40 feet away from Pence as he and his staff fled to a hiding place.
Last month, Pence said he’d “consider” testifying before the Jan. 6 committee if he were invited. Top aides to the previous vice chairman have already appeared under oath before the committee.
Wednesday’s speech was not the primary time Pence used euphemistic language when referring to the riot. Only a mile from where Trump’s mob desired to hang him, Pence gave a speech in July that didn’t mention the coup attempt or the violence directed at him by the previous president. Pence, who is anticipated to run for president in 2024, focused his remarks — very like he did on Wednesday — on general Republican talking points like inflation, border security, women’s sports and so-called critical race theory.