Former VP Mike Pence makes campaign stop in Indiana, says he 'chose the Constitution' over Trump
Current presidential candidate and former Vice President Mike Pence laid out his plan to end inflation at the Indiana State Fair on Wednesday. His visit comes as former President Donald Trump has been indicted on four federal criminal charges including conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Trump is still the clear frontrunner of the Republican race despite these charges. Pence said he had no authority to overturn 2020 election results.
He said Trump asked him to make an unconstitutional decision on Jan. 6, and he refused.
“On that day, President Trump asked me to put him over the Constitution,” he said. “But I chose the Constitution, and I always will.”
When asked about his place in the primary race, Pence said he is hopeful. He said he believes others may take a new perspective when going out to vote this year.
“I know what the polls say,” he said.” But the truth is, what I’ve learned traveling around Iowa and traveling around New Hampshire and some of the earlier states is that people are taking a fresh look at everybody.”
Pence largely focused on his plan to end inflation. He said the federal government’s current spending habits are pushing prices for products such as groceries and gas too high.
“Inflation today is not only crushing family budgets but it’s crushing the life out of small businesses around the country today,” he said. “And [inflation is] costing jobs.”
Inflation has eased in recent months, dropping to a two-year low while still running high.
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Pence said his plan involves four steps. The first is financial responsibility for government spending.
“We’re going to end deficit spending,” he said. “We're going to put America back on a path to a balanced budget; we're going to repeal more than $3 trillion in new spending appropriated by this administration.”
He said this also includes ending student loan forgiveness that he said “puts a burden” on working families. He said his administration would also freeze non-defense spending, funneling more money toward resources for “Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guard and Space Force members.”
Pence said the second step is reforming the Federal Reserve and “preserving the integrity of the dollar.”
“On one hand, they're trying to protect the dollar against inflation,” he said. “On the other hand, they're trying to promote full employment.”
He said the Federal Reserve should be solely focused on printing less money – which he said increases the value of the dollar. The second part of the Federal Reserve’s “dual mandate” is maximum employment, which Pence said should be left instead to the president and Congress.
Third, he said he will focus on bringing jobs back to America.
“In the first three years of our administration with the tax cuts we passed, the regulations we rolled back, we saw 12,000 new factories come back to this country and reopen,” he said. “I mean, we can restore these jobs with the right policies, which will also, as the economy continues to grow, will continue to tackle this inflation.”
Pence said a part of this is making “Trump-Biden tax cuts” permanent.
The last step of Pence’s plan is achieving energy independence, which he said is one of his biggest focuses.
“The cost of the fuel going into that truck that brings those goods to your grocery store also drives up inflation as well,” he said. “There is no more effective way to tackle inflation than unleashing American energy. And we’ll do it.”
Pence said President Joe Biden’s current spending habits have contributed to these rising costs, and believes the next elected president must put inflation relief at the forefront of their platform.
Next year’s presidential election will take place on Nov. 5, 2024.