Several Republican lawmakers at a meeting on Capitol Hill on Wednesday praised former Vice President Mike Pence for fulfilling his constitutional duty on Jan. 6, 2021 and encouraged him to run for president in 2024, according to multiple reports.
“I just want to thank you for standing up for our Constitution,” Texas Rep. Chip Roy told Pence during the meeting, per Axios.
“I’m happy to shout it from Mar-A-Lago to Bedminster,” Roy continued, referring to former President Donald Trump’s clubs in Florida and New Jersey. “But I just want you to know how grateful we are.”
The remarks, applauded by other Republican lawmakers in the room, were made during Pence’s meeting with the Republican Review Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, per CNN.
Before Jan. 6, 2021, the day Congress would certify President-elect Joe Biden as 2020 winner, Trump and his allies pressured Pence to nullify Electoral College votes in battleground states. Pence rejected the push, saying he had no constitutional authority as vice president to alter election results and that his role was only to formally preside over certification.
“People thanked him for his courage and for doing the right thing,” Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon told Politico after Wednesday’s meeting.
It was Pence’s first trip to the Capitol since leaving office in 2021. The former vice president’s appearance comes as speculation swirls about his possible 2024 presidential bid. other supposed candidates for 2024, such as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Senses. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tom Cotton of Arkansas also met with the influential Republican study committee.
Bacon told CNN that several lawmakers had encouraged Pence to run in 2024, though the former vice president didn’t address the topic, instead saying he was focused on helping Republicans win in mid -mandate this year.
Over the past year, Pence has endorsed a slew of House Republicans, speaking at campaign events and hosting fundraisers on their behalf in several states, particularly in the Midwest, sparking rumors he plans to bid for the White House in 2024, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
In the wake of the Capitol attack, Pence has distanced himself from Trump, as the former president also teases a run in 2024.