Pence Criticizes Trump ‘Hostages’ Comment

Former Vice President Mike Pence criticized former President Donald Trump for calling prisoners from the Jan. 6, 2021 protest at the Capitol “hostages.” The former vice president’s words came less than a week after Pence announced that he would not be endorsing Trump’s 2024 campaign.

Trump has called those arrested since the Jan. 6 protest “hostages” on several recent occasions. During a Saturday campaign event, Trump said “You see this spirit from the hostages. And that’s what they are hostages. They’ve been treated terribly and very unfairly, and you know that, and everybody knows that.”

Trump also called those in jail related to the protest “unbelievable patriots.”

“I think it’s very unfortunate at a time that there are American hostages being held in Gaza. That the president or any other leaders would refer to people that are moving through our justice system as hostages. And it’s just unacceptable,” said Pence.

The former vice president did defend Trump regarding the latest media concern about his campaign. Trump told a crowd last week that if imports of Chinese cars manufactured in Mexico were allowed, it would cause a “bloodbath.”

“The president was clearly talking about the impact of imports devastating the American automotive industry,” Pence said.

Some media outlets framed the former president’s comments as being a call for violence and not about stronger trade protections for domestic auto manufacturing.

Pence said that he would not be endorsing Trump during an interview with Fox News last week. He said that he was “proud” of what he and Trump were able to accomplish during the White House, but that there were “profound differences between me and President Trump on a range of issues, not just our difference on my constitutional duties that I exercised on January 6.”

“As I have watched his candidacy unfold, I’ve seen him walking away from our commitment to confronting the national debt. I’ve seen him starting to shy away from a commitment to the sanctity of human life,” he said.