Former President Donald Trump would not ask his former Vice President Mike Pence to run with him again because he committed “political suicide,” according to a new book containing an interview with him where they discussed the possibility.
The comments about Pence were made during an interview for the book The Divider: Trump in the White House, by New York Times correspondent Peter Baker and The New Yorker writer Susan Glasser.
“It would be totally inappropriate,” Trump told the married couple during one of two interviews he did for the book, the Guardian reports.
The former president added that
“Mike committed political suicide” by certifying the electoral college votes on January 6, 2021.
In Pence’s own book, he says that he was “angry,” but not afraid, as protesters flooded the Capitol that day. He wrote about “how it desecrated the seat of our democracy and dishonored the patriotism of millions of our supporters, who would never do such a thing here or anywhere else.”
In December, Trump said that Pence is “mortally wounded” in the GOP for not returning the votes.
Speaking at a “History Tour” event with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in Florida, Trump said, “I was disappointed in one thing, but it was a big thing. Mike should have sent those crooked votes back to the legislatures, and you would have had a different result in the election, in my opinion.”
“I think Mike has been very badly hurt by what took place in respect to January 6,” Trump said. “I think he’s been mortally wounded, frankly, because I see the reaction he’s getting from people.”
In May, Trump was asked about speculation that Pence may be considering a run for president in 2024 during an interview with CBN News.
“I don’t want to say,” Trump responded when asked about the possibility. “If Mike got in, I think it would be a hard one for him. I think it would be a hard one. I understand where the base is. I love the base. The base loves me. I think it would be hard, but Mike was a good guy. I thought he was a very good vice president. He was my friend.”
When asked about his relationship with his former VP, Trump said that he had been “disappointed” by him.
“Honestly, I haven’t spoken to Mike in a long time,” Trump said, later adding, “A long time is four or five months. I haven’t spoken to him in a long time. And he’s a nice man. He disappointed me on one thing because I think he should have sent the votes back to the legislatures.”
Pence, and many legal experts, have maintained that he could not have sent the votes back, as his role was purely ceremonial.
“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence said in February while speaking at a Federalist Society event.
According to data from YouGov, Pence’s popularity rating is currently at 33 percent, while he is disliked by 44 percent.