Asked during an event at the University of Iowa that had asked him to reject Trump’s plan, Pence replied, “James Madison.”
The former vice president also quoted the Bible, saying, “Psalm 15 says that he who keeps his oath, even when it hurts.”
He noted that he had written a letter to Congress expressing concern over the vote in some states.
But, he added, “the only role for the federal government is to open and count the electoral votes that were sent by the states. You have to be willing to do your duty.”
The comments add new insight into Pence’s mindset on January 6, when he presided over Congress as it confirmed Biden’s victory. When Pence refused to intervene, Trump turned on his vice president and attacked him on Twitter, even as the uprising at the US Capitol unfolded.
The 2020 election certification was the only clear break Pence made with the former president, which he served loyally for four years – and whose cloak he might want to take up in the presidential race in 2024. That goal is complicated by the open opportunity Trump could field. again himself, and the guilt that Trump’s most loyal supporters attribute to Pence for not overturning the election.