House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has defended Mike Pence after the former Vice President was booed and called a ‘traitor’ at a Faith & Freedom Coalition event in Orlando Friday.
McCarthy appeared on Fox News on Friday evening and defended Pence after he was heckled by the crowd at the ‘Road to Majority’-themed event.
‘It is great to be back with so many patriots. Dedicated to faith and freedom and the road to the majority,’ Pence had said.
As he began thanking Ralph Reed, the head of the Faith & Freedom coalition, he was met with boos and people loudly shouting ‘traitor!’
But speaking to Fox’s Brian Kilmeade, McCarthy said: ‘Mike Pence is not a traitor’.
Many supporters of former President Donald Trump have turned on Pence after he refused to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory on January 6
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Mike Pence (pictured earlier this month) was booed and called a ‘traitor’ during a conference on Friday
Later in the day, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came to Pence’s defense during an appearance on Fox News
McCarthy continued, ‘Mike Pence served as not only as a member of Congress [during] which I served with him, one of the most conservative members.
He went on to tout Pence’s political record, including the push during the Trump administration to fill court benches with conservative judges, including the Supreme Court.
‘He was the governor of Indiana. And he was the vice president, stood right by President Trump, helped him get through the tax reform, get those judges in. Mike Pence deserves a lot of credit.’
Minority Leader McCarthy was a key Trump ally amid a fracture between the former president and his VP.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks to reporters with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy by his side in 2019
The Road to Majority conference attracted a number of conservative household names including Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Rick Scott, Marsha Blackburn, Lindsey Graham and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
And they pushed a number of right-wing talking points with Cruz, for example, remarking that ‘critical race theory is bigoted. It is a lie, And it is every bit as racist as the Klansmen in white sheets.’
Cruz also said: ‘I’m going to commit a radical act, I’m going to speak the truth. America is great. Christopher Columbus discovering America was a good thing. George Washington was an American hero. Thomas Jefferson was an American hero. Abraham Lincoln was an American hero.
He also lambasted the days when you could say ‘Israel is our friend, boys and girls are different and the Wuhan virus came from Wuhan’ without the ‘fear of getting cancelled’
Former Vice President Mike Pence was booed and called a ‘traitor’ by audience members attending the Faith and Freedom coalition ‘Road to Majority’ event in Orlando, Florida
Audience members booed and shouted ‘traitor’ at former Vice President Mike Pence at an event in Orlando, Florida Friday
Pence barely introduced himself before the audience rebelled.
‘And I want to thank my friend Ralph Reed for those overly generous words, I’m deeply humbled by them,’ Pence said.
‘Ralph Reed knows me well enough to know the introduction I prefer is a little bit shorter: I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, and I’m honored to stand before you today,’ he continued, as the shouts also continued.
In the lead-up to the January 6 MAGA riot, former President Donald Trump pushed Pence, who had a Constitutional duty to preside over Congress’ counting of Electoral College votes, to throw out votes from key swing states – in an effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s win.
‘I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so,’ Trump told the crowd at the Ellipse on the morning of January 6, before droves of them stormed the Capitol. ‘Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.’
Trump falsely claimed to the crowd that Pence had ‘the absolute right’ to toss out Electoral Votes at his choosing.
Pence publicly said he didn’t see it that way.
When rioters got to the Capitol later on January 6, some chanted ‘hang Mike Pence’ for his refusal to do Trump’s bidding.
During Trump’s second impeachment hearing, video footage showed Pence narrowly escaping from the crowd.
Trump never called to check in on him.
Earlier this month, Pence tried to push that he was still on Trump’s good side telling an audience at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire that he’d spoken to Trump ‘many times’ since they left office.
Former Vice President Mike Pence (left) appeared alongside his wife Karen Pence (right) at the Road to Majority conference Friday
The reaction to Pence comes five months after he refused to overturn the electoral college votes that ratified Biden’s win
Sen. Ted Cruz spoke to the crowd Friday at the Road to Majority conference in Orlando, Florida. He said that critical race theory being promoted in some schools is ‘as racist as Klansmen’
He admitted, however, that they do not ‘see eye-to-eye’ on the January 6 insurrection.
‘But I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years,’ Pence said. ‘And I will not allow Democrats or their allies in the media to use one tragic day to discredit the aspirations of millions of Americans,’ he added.
He told the audience that he ‘learned a lot serving alongside President Donald Trump.’
‘Some people think we’re a little bit different,’ the ex-veep said. ‘But I think what President Trump showed us was what Republicans can accomplish when our leaders stand firm on conservative principles and don’t back down.’
‘It was four years of consequence, four years of results,’ Pence said. ‘It was four years of promises made and promises kept.’
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise spoke Friday at the Road to Majority conference in Orlando, Florida