MIAMI -- Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis declined Monday to comment on the most divisive issue in the GOP, could Mike Pence (then-Vice President) have "overturned the 2020 presidential election?"
Donald Trump , former President, has repeatedly insisted that Pence could have altered the outcome of the election by overturning the congressional certificate of results. This resulted in President Joe Biden's victory. Pence said that Trump was wrong to claim he had the power to alter the outcome.
DeSantis didn't respond Monday when asked who he sided with.
"I'm not. "I ..." DeSantis" told reporters at an immigration-related press conference at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, Miami, before he cut himself off.
DeSantis was then asked by a reporter to change the subject and say that he had a great working relationship with Trump's administration in the two years that his administration overlapped with it. He then attacked the Biden White House as being obstructionist.
Trump is still the odds-on favorite for the GOP nomination, even if he does not run again in 2024. DeSantis is second. This is according early primaries. These polls show that he leads the pack even if Trump does not run. In a field that includes Trump supporters like Ted Cruz of Texas, Pence is third.
Although there has been talk of a DeSantis/Trump feud for months, both men claim they have a good relationship. This is reflected in DeSantis's unwillingness to cross Trump on the issue Pence's ability to interfere with the Jan. 6, 2020, tally. According to polls, a large portion of GOP primary voters believe that the election was stolen - despite multiple audits, investigations, and court cases finding no widespread fraud that prevented Trump's victory.
DeSantis isn’t the only Florida Republican not to cross Trump on the Jan. 6-2021 certification issue. DeSantis is not the only Florida Republican to avoid Trump on the Jan. 6, 2021, certification issue. On Sunday's CBS program "Face the Nation", Sen. Marco Rubio, who was also up for re-election, refused to say explicitly whether he believed Trump was wrong but expressed support for reforming the congressional process that certifies presidential elections.
Rubio said that "Vice presidents cannot simply decide not to certify an electoral election."
A mob led by Trump stormed Washington, bringing mock-gallows, shouting "Hang Mike Penne!" and causing delays in the confirmation of Biden's victory. Trump was later impeached again for the second time.
In the last week, the urgency of officially approving the election results gained an additional dimension.
The Republican National Committee referred Friday to the Jan. 6 Riot as "legitimate Political Discourse" in a resolution to censure Rep. Liz Cheney from Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger, of Illinois.
Pence also publicly supported his decision to certify the election results on Friday because his role was only ceremonial. This position is consistent with nearly all mainstream, nonpartisan constitutional law experts. The U.S. Constitution, and the 1887 Electoral Count Act don't explicitly allow the Vice President to ignore all certified results from any state.
Pence stated that President Trump was wrong in remarks he made in Orlando, Florida, before the Federalist Society. This conservative legal group is called the Federalist Society. "I had no rights to reverse the election."
DeSantis addressed the group as well. He did not mention the certification. Instead, he praised his state's laissez faire approach to dealing with the pandemic. This issue helped him become a major political force within the GOP. DeSantis, whose stock has increased nationwide, has raised money all across the country to re-elect himself and isn't afraid to ask national Republicans questions.
DeSantis did not comment on the Electoral College certifiation this week, but he did mention the topic in an interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham a few days after the election. DeSantis suggested that GOP-run state legislatures could nominate an alternate slate. Biden won them both and the presidency.
A bipartisan congressional group is currently examining the possibility of reforming the Electoral Count Act. This will make it clear that a vice-president can't ignore state elections results and give the courts more control over the final outcome.
Trump has been releasing a constant stream of lies about Pence and the 2020 election results. He responded to Pence’s small show of defiance with two statements. One of the statements was from Trump, in which he admitted that he wanted Pence "to overturn" the election.
Trump sent another email, denying that he wanted the election to be "overturned", but simply asking Pence to reject votes from states where he lost because of fraud -- which no state found.