Former Vice President Mike Pence expressed to Fox News his concerns about former President Trump’s commitment to their shared goals, particularly after Trump questioned the strictness of a recent abortion restriction.
“Though President Trump and I have had our disagreements in the past, I’m now witnessing him drift from our shared values on life, fiscal responsibility, and America’s global leadership,” Pence commented on Thursday.
On “Meet the Press” with NBC’s Kristen Welker, Trump addressed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s proposed heartbeat bill, which seeks to limit abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. When asked about a potential 15-week ban, Trump responded, “I won’t say definitively. ‘DeSanctis’, as I call him, seems fine with a 5 or 6-week ban. I believe his move is misguided and erroneous.”
Pence voiced his disapproval of Trump’s stance, pointing to their administration’s efforts in reshaping the Supreme Court. “It’s unsettling to hear the former president label the heartbeat bill in Florida, or similar ones in Georgia, Ohio, and Iowa, as a ‘grave error.’ It indicates his possible shift from our pro-life mission,” Pence observed.
Trump, on his Truth Social platform, claimed responsibility for the landmark shift in federal abortion protections, stating, “I achieved the seemingly impossible task of overturning Roe v. Wade. It’s been 52 years of massive financial investments with no result until I intervened. With the Supreme Court Justices I nominated, this matter is now a state issue, as many legal experts had hoped.”
Pence, referencing his extensive anti-abortion advocacy from his tenure as both governor and congressman, mentioned, “Were I in the presidential seat, I’d advocate for the most stringent protective measures feasible.”
After the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling determined that there isn’t a constitutional right to abortion, Pence voiced his agreement but expressed his desire for a nationwide baseline, especially in progressive states such as California, Illinois, and New York. “It should be a starting point; I’m advocating for even stricter measures,” he stated.
If re-elected, Trump proposed a collaborative approach. “I’d facilitate discussions between both parties, aiming to find a resolution to this long-standing dispute,” he told NBC.
Pence, alongside DeSantis and other Republican presidential candidates, is scheduled to participate in the upcoming GOP primary debate in California.