Pence hits Trump: No room in GOP 'for apologists for Putin'

Pence, in a speech Friday evening to the party's top donors in New Orleans, will take on those in his party who have failed to forcefully condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for his unprovoked invasion

Associated Press

Mar 4, 2022, 11:58 PM

Updated 843 days ago

Share:

Pence hits Trump: No room in GOP 'for apologists for Putin'
Former Vice President Mike Pence will urge Republicans to move on from the 2020 election, declaring “there is no room in this party for apologists for Putin” as he further cements his break from former President Donald Trump.
Pence, in a speech Friday evening to the party's top donors in New Orleans, will take on those in his party who have failed to forcefully condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
“Where would Russian tanks be today if NATO had not expanded the borders of freedom? There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin,” Pence will say, according to excerpts from the speech. “There is only room for champions of freedom.”
Pence does not directly reference the former president in excerpts shared ahead of his remarks. But Trump has repeatedly used language that has been criticized as deferential to Putin, including calling the Russian leader “smart” while insisting the attack never would have happened on his watch.
Pence will also continue to push back on Trump's lies about the 2020 election as he lays the groundwork for a possible 2024 presidential run. Trump, who has been teasing his own comeback bid that could potentially put the two in direct competition, has continued to falsely insist that Pence had the power to overturn the 2020 election, which he did not.
“Elections are about the future," Pence will say. "My fellow Republicans, we can only win if we are united around an optimistic vision for the future based on our highest values. We cannot win by fighting yesterday’s battles, or by relitigating the past.”
Pence has been increasingly willing to challenge Trump - a dramatic departure from his deferential posture as vice president.
Pence has said the two men will likely never see “eye to eye” on the Capitol insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump supporters stormed the building in an effort to stop certification of Joe Biden's election victory And last month, he directly rebutted Trump’s false claims that he, as vice president, could have overturned the results, telling a gathering of lawyers in Florida that Trump was “wrong.”
Still, he will join the oft-stated view of Trump and others in the Republican Party Friday evening in blaming President Biden for Putin's actions, accusing the current president of having “squandered the deterrence that our administration put in place to keep Putin and Russia from even trying to redraw international boundaries by force.”
“It’s no coincidence that Russia waited until 2022 to invade Ukraine,” Pence will say, according to excerpts. “Weakness arouses evil, and the magnitude of evil sweeping across Ukraine speaks volumes about this president.”
While Pence allies believe that he can forge a coalition that brings together movement conservatives, white Evangelical Christians and more establishment-minded Republicans, Trump’s attacks on Pence have made him deeply unpopular with large swaths of Trump’s loyal base, potentially complicating his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Pence on Jan. 6 had to be whisked to safety with his family as a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol building, some chanting “Hang Mike Pence!”
(By AP writer Jill Colvin)


More from News 12
1:59
Toddler nearly falls into large sinkhole that formed in front yard of Fair Lawn home

Toddler nearly falls into large sinkhole that formed in front yard of Fair Lawn home

2:13
STORM WATCH: Tracking a line of strong storms headed toward NJ for Wednesday

STORM WATCH: Tracking a line of strong storms headed toward NJ for Wednesday

2:24
Family of missing South Seaside Park woman hopes public can help solve 15-year cold case

Family of missing South Seaside Park woman hopes public can help solve 15-year cold case

1:03
NJ lawmakers advance bill to ban herbal product ‘kratom’ after death of Ocean County man

NJ lawmakers advance bill to ban herbal product ‘kratom’ after death of Ocean County man

2:31
Menendez bribery trial: Senate staffer on stand for 2nd day of testimony

Menendez bribery trial: Senate staffer on stand for 2nd day of testimony

0:29
Route 1&9 reopens in Linden following 12-inch water main break

Route 1&9 reopens in Linden following 12-inch water main break

2:01
Union workers call for corporate transit tax in hopes to urgently fund NJ Transit

Union workers call for corporate transit tax in hopes to urgently fund NJ Transit

0:27
Officials: Drowning victim in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest identified as Point Pleasant man

Officials: Drowning victim in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest identified as Point Pleasant man

0:20
Large tree falls onto car in Belleville

Large tree falls onto car in Belleville

0:43
Evesham police officer hailed a hero for rescuing 2 residents from burning house

Evesham police officer hailed a hero for rescuing 2 residents from burning house

0:35
NJ man accused of flying to Florida to attack a man he met through an online game

NJ man accused of flying to Florida to attack a man he met through an online game

0:26
USPS truck bursts into flames while making Amazon deliveries in Margate City

USPS truck bursts into flames while making Amazon deliveries in Margate City

0:44
Prosecutors: 17 people arrested in Monmouth County drug ring bust

Prosecutors: 17 people arrested in Monmouth County drug ring bust

2:28
Man dies while trying to get kids off the beach during a lightning storm in Seaside Park

Man dies while trying to get kids off the beach during a lightning storm in Seaside Park

0:36
Jersey Proud: Teen with autism gets police escort to prom

Jersey Proud: Teen with autism gets police escort to prom

0:33
US Supreme Court rejects appeal on Rutgers University COVID-19 vaccine mandate case

US Supreme Court rejects appeal on Rutgers University COVID-19 vaccine mandate case

1:56
Power outage at Passaic housing complex leaves hundreds in the dark

Power outage at Passaic housing complex leaves hundreds in the dark

0:19
Hooters to close dozens of restaurant locations across the US

Hooters to close dozens of restaurant locations across the US

0:58
Officials: Large fire injures 3 firefighters, displaces more than 50 people in Passaic

Officials: Large fire injures 3 firefighters, displaces more than 50 people in Passaic

0:19
Prosecutor: 20-year-old man fatally shot in Irvington, suspect sought

Prosecutor: 20-year-old man fatally shot in Irvington, suspect sought