House impeachment managers gush over Pence's 'patriotism' after years of criticism: 'Stood his ground'
FOX News host Chris Wallace tells 'The Story' that Pence team feels 'residual bitterness' toward former president
House impeachment managers on Wednesday repeatedly praised former Vice President Mike Pence for his actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, putting aside past criticism of Pence as they tried to convince Senate Republicans to convict former President Donald Trump.
The positive comments about Pence are a dramatic shift from how some of the Democratic managers have previously talked about the former vice president.
A mob attempting to stop the certification of Biden's Electoral College victory and others online threatened the former vice president as they stormed the Capitol after he said he did not have the authority to overturn the 2020 presidential election results while Congress voted to certify Electoral College votes.
Five people, including a Capitol Hill Police officer, died during the attack, which forced Pence and other lawmakers to flee the House and Senate chambers.
In this image from video, a security video shows Vice President Mike Pence being evacuated as rioters breach the Capitol. (Senate Television via AP)
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., detailed how Trump turned on Pence in the lead-up to the election certification in Congress.
"Vice President Pence stood his ground like our other brave officials stood their ground. He refused the president and fulfilled his duty on Jan. 6, even after the capital was attacked. Even after he was personally targeted. Even after his family was targeted," Lieu said.
The congressman continued: "Vice President Pence showed us what it means to be an American, what it means to show courage. He put his country, his oath, his values and his morals above the will of one man."
Lieu quoted a line from Trump’s "Save America" rally speech during which Trump said he wouldn't "like" Pence "as much" if he certified the election results after Congress’ vote and attacked the former vice president "nearly a dozen times."
In this image from video, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., speaks during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D,C., Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)
The California representative also quoted a New York Times report that said Trump told Pence: "You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a p---y."
Rep. Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, praised Pence for his letter saying he could not certify the election results and for his "courage to stand against the president, tell the American public the truth, and uphold our Constitution."
"That is patriotism. That patriotism is also what put vice president in so much danger on Jan. 6 by the mob sent by our president," Plaskett said.
Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, also commended Pence for "following his faith, his duty and his oath to our nation."
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, speaks during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (Senate Television via AP) ((Senate Television via AP))
"I don't agree on too much in politics, but he's a man who upholds his oath, his faith, his duty, and most of all upholds the Constitution," Castro said. "And Mike Pence is not a traitor. To this country. He's a patriot."
But in a 2018 tweet, Castro called Pence a "Trump zombie."
In December, Lieu accused the former vice president of "enabling of crazy conspiracy theories" about the election.
"You reap what you sow," he tweeted.
Pence's team told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace during a phone call that there remains some lingering bitterness between Pence and Trump following the riots because the president did not inquire after the safety of his second-in-command, Wallace told "The Story" on Wednesday.
Fox News' Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.