On Saturday, writing for CNN's "The Point," Chris Cillizza speculated that former Vice President Mike Pence's remarks in New Hampshire that he will never see "eye to eye" with former President Donald Trump on the January 6th insurrection could doom his 2024 chances by antagonizing his former ally.
"Pence is, of course, right. The violent insurrection at the US Capitol, which left more than 100 police officers injured and five people dead, were a cataclysm the likes of which American democracy has rarely seen," wrote Cillizza. "And Pence, as vice president on that day, had no role other than a ceremonial one — to oversee the formal certification of the electoral vote count that showed Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election." For that, the rioters called for his blood, chanting "Hang Mike Pence" and even setting up a gallows.
"What Trump has done is make acknowledging the truth of what happened on January 6 — and his role in it — a sort of loyalty test for ambitious Republicans," wrote Cillizza. "Tell the truth about that day and run the risk of becoming the next Liz Cheney, run out of her Republican leadership job. Lie about that day — or try to downplay the actual danger the riot posed to lawmakers — and keep your job a la Kevin McCarthy. Pence appears to be putting himself, purposely, in the former category. Which is a very interesting gambit given that there is, to date, zero evidence that Republicans who break with Trump on January 6 have any sort of political future within the Party."
This comes at a time, noted Cillizza, when Trump is already privately complaining about Pence to his allies.
"Unless the Republican Party's views on Trump change radically between now and 2024 (always possible!), Pence's position on January 6 might well disqualify him from serious consideration by Republican primary voters," concluded Cillizza. "What a world."
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