Former Vice President Mike Pence delivered a speech in Florida Friday and pushed back against claims from former President Trump and his supporters that he had the ability to use his power to contest the 2020 presidential election. 

"There are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress, I possessed unilateral authority to reject electoral college votes," Pence said in the speech to the Federalist Society. "And this week, our former president said I had the right to overturn the election. President Trump is wrong…I had no right to overturn the election."

Pence continued, "Frankly there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president."

Former Vice President Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Press Club on Nov. 30, 2021 in Washington. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


Pence explained that "under Article II Section One, elections are conducted at the state level, not by Congress" and that "the only role of Congress with respect to the electoral college is to open and count votes submitted and certified by the states."

"No more, no less," Pence said.

Pence also referred to the January 6 riot as a "dark day in the history of the United States Capitol."

The former vice president added that he understands the "disappointment" that many feel about the outcome of the last election.

Former Vice President Mike Pence gives a speech on the stage of the Varkert Bazar cultural centre in Budapest on Sept. 23, 2021, during the fourth demographic summit.

Former Vice President Mike Pence gives a speech on the stage of the Varkert Bazar cultural centre in Budapest on Sept. 23, 2021, during the fourth demographic summit. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)

"I share it," Pence said. "Whatever the future holds, I know we did our duty that day. As John Quincy Adams said, Duty is ours, Results are God’s".


Pence then said that it is time to "move on" and that if "we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections, we’ll lose our country."

Pence’s comments come days after Trump voiced his belief that his vice president, via the Electoral Count Act, had the ability to send the electoral votes back to the states.

Former President Donald Trump

CONROE, TX - JANUARY 29: Former President Donald Trump speaks during the 'Save America' rally at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on January 29, 2022 in Conroe, Texas. Trump's visit was his first Texas MAGA rally since 2019.  (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

"The Vice President did have this right or, more pointedly, could have sent the votes back to various legislators for reassessment after so much fraud and irregularities were found," Trump said."If it were sent back to the legislators, or if Nancy Pelosi, who is in charge of Capitol security, had taken my recommendation and substantially increased security, there would have been no ‘January 6’ as we know it!"


Pence's speech comes as speculation about his 2024 presidential ambitions run rampant, as do questions about his current relationship with Trump following their vocal disagreement on the outcome of the 2020 election.

In his speech, Pence touted achievements he and Trump accomplished during their four-year term and blasted Biden's "far-left policies" that have led to rising inflation and empty shelves. Pence also touched on rising crime under the Biden administration and took aim at liberal district attorneys across the country. 

Pence also touched on other hot-button issues including the crisis at the southern border, attacks on free speech, Department of Justice overreach, the Second Amendment, the perils of coronavirus vaccine mandates, and sending Roe v. Wade to the "ash heap of history."