Mike Pence Distances Himself From 'Trading Insults' With His 'Old Friend' Trump

A voter questioned Pence on whether he'll see him "stand up" to his former running mate at a New Hampshire event on Friday.
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Mike Pence backed away from “trading insults” with his former running mate after a registered independent voter doubted whether the former vice president would ever “stand up” to Donald Trump.

Pence, who is set to challenge the former president in the GOP presidential primaries next year, listened as the voter at a meet-and-greet event in New Hampshire offered what he referred to as an “honest comment” on Pence’s White House prospects, ABC News reported.

“I would love to see you be president of the United States. I’m just gonna give you an honest comment. I don’t believe you ever will be until the day you stand up to that man,” voter Tom Loughlin told Pence.

Pence, who once said Trump should “never be president” due to his coup attempt on Jan. 6, 2021, fired back at the voter’s remark.

“Some people think we did a fair amount of standing up two and a half years ago. ... I joined the ticket because there was a tacit commitment that we would govern as conservatives and we did ... but honestly, I think he makes no such promise today,” the former vice president said.

“I’m not interested in trading insults with my old friend. I’m not. And some people think that’s the way to win the presidency. I don’t. But laying out the choice for the American people. We’ve been doing it. We’ll keep doing it,” Pence continued.

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Family Leadership Summit earlier this month in Des Moines, Iowa. “I’m not interested in trading insults with my old friend," Pence said of former President Donald Trump on Friday.
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Family Leadership Summit earlier this month in Des Moines, Iowa. “I’m not interested in trading insults with my old friend," Pence said of former President Donald Trump on Friday.
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File

Pence’s comments arrive roughly one month before the GOP’s first primary debate, an event in Milwaukee that Trump has threatened to avoid.

Several candidates have announced that they’ve met the Republican National Committee’s 40,000 unique donor criteria for the debate including ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and gift-card-giving North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

Pence and his campaign have yet to reveal whether he’s met the threshold, ABC News noted.

Loughlin said he’s “ill” over Pence’s polling numbers — which fall behind Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy in polling averages — and called on him to go after the former president.

“This man deserves better than that for the people of this country. He has to talk about the future. And he has to talk about how dangerous that man is for our country,” said Loughlin.

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