Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich published an op-ed on Thursday applauding Vice President Mike Pence after he did not attempt to block the Electoral College vote during a congressional meeting.
On Wednesday, Pence was poised to preside over the congressional proceedings to certify the 2020 Electoral College results, a role that is largely ceremonial.
In an op-ed published by Fox News, Gingrich commended Pence for his willingness to stand up to Trump and his handling of the attacks on the Capitol Wednesday.
“[T]he real prize for courage yesterday went to Vice President Mike Pence. He had been the brunt of a number of public comments from President Trump trying to push him into doing something he did not think was constitutional. A weaker person might have buckled and given in,” Gingrich wrote.
Gingrich described Pence as a “devout family man” who knew “that no matter what the pressures were, he would end up doing what he thought was right.”
Pence has not made a public statement since a mob violently attacked the Capitol building Wednesday afternoon. Supporters of the president gathered in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress not to certify the Electoral College vote.
Gingrich said he “trusted” Pence to make a decision: “He had not sworn an oath to a particular party, philosophy, or personality. I trusted him to study the issues carefully, consult widely with experts, pray deeply, and then do what he thought was his duty.”
The former speaker added that Pence’s “leadership qualities” showed after Congress reconvened Wednesday night to certify Biden as the winner. He added that Pence’s statement before proceedings commenced in the Senate were “so common sense and so calming in a potentially disastrous situation.”
Gingrich condemned the violence that occurred Wednesday but said “we must go a step further and make a firm commitment to stop all the violence,” referencing demonstrations against police brutality that erupted over the summer.
“There is a new generation of radical prosecutors who want to protect guilty criminals and sacrifice innocent victims. It must stop,” Gingrich wrote. “If we don’t get a grip on stopping this radical violence throughout our society, our shared American future will become much worse.”