Pence was asked Monday if he thought Trump should ever be president again in an interview with ABC’s David Muir that aired Monday.
“I think that’s up to the American people,” Pence replied. “But I think we’ll have better choices in the future. … People in this country actually get along pretty well once you get out of politics. And I think they want to see their national leaders start to reflect that same compassion and generosity of spirit.”
The interview came a day before the release of Pence’s memoir about his career and time in the White House, “So Help Me God.”
Trump is also widely expected to announced a new bid for the White House on Tuesday, despite concerns among the GOP about backing him as their preferred candidate following Republicans’ dismal results in last week’s midterm elections.
Pence himself is a likely 2024 candidate and said in the interview Monday he was giving a White House bid “prayerful consideration.” Muir asked if Pence thought he’d be able to beat Trump should he launch his own 2024 campaign for the Oval Office.
“Well, that would be for others to say, and it’d be for us to decide whether or not we’d want to test that,” the former vice president replied.
Pence’s remarks are a sharp departure from his almost universal support of Trump while the pair were in office. He said the then-president was “reckless” in the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and “decided to be part of the problem” as the attack unfolded.
“The president’s words were reckless and his actions were reckless,” Pence said, adding he was “angry” when Trump tweeted that the vice president “didn’t have the courage” to block the certification of the 2020 Electoral College votes.
“The president’s words that day at the rally endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building,” Pence told Muir.
Members of the mob that stormed the halls of Congress chanted “Hang Mike Pence” at times. Pence said he couldn’t account for Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, as he wasn’t at the White House and didn’t hear from the president during the Capitol riot.
“That’d be a good question for him,” Pence told Muir when asked why Trump didn’t act sooner to stop the violent assault.