Former Vice President Mike Pence’s ex-chief of staff, Marc Short, on Sunday defended him in his escalating spat with Donald Trump over a vice president’s role in certifying an election.
“I think, unfortunately, the president had many bad advisors who were basically snake oil salesmen, giving him really random and novel ideas as to what the vice president could do,” Short told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet The Press.”
Pence on Friday gave his strongest rebuke yet of Trump’s push to have him block the certification of President Joe Biden’s win on Jan. 6, 2021, saying, “President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election.”
It angered Trump, who responded by attacking Pence and saying, “I was right and everyone knows it.”
In a statement last Sunday, Trump had claimed that congressional efforts to reform the 1887 Electoral Count Act to clarify the role of the vice president proves that Pence “could have overturned the election.” (It doesn’t, though Trump tried to capitalize on ambiguities in the law to use it to his advantage).
Republican senators John Barrasso (Pa.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) were among senior party officials who have also supported Pence’s stance.
“There’s nothing in the 12th Amendment or the Electoral Count Act that would afford a vice president that authority [to overturn the election],” Short said Sunday. “It’s why no vice president in 200 years has ever used that authority, and it’s certainly not one that I think conservatives or Republicans would want Kamala Harris the ability to say she’s going to reject votes from Texas or Wyoming or any other state heading into 2024 .”