Pence likened the former presidents during a 45-minute long speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on Thursday.
The former VP praised Reagan, who was president from 1981 to 1989, as “one of a kind” and a “disruptor” before going on to contrast him with Trump.
“President Donald Trump is also one of a kind,” Pence, who was vice president during Trump’s White House tenure, said.
“He too disrupted the status quo. He challenged the establishment. He invigorated our movement, and he set a bold new course for America in the 21st century. And now, as then, there is no going back.
“Under President Trump’s leadership we were able to achieve things Republicans have been talking about since the days of Barry Goldwater. It’s true.”
Goldwater, a former senator for Arizona, was the Republican presidential candidate in 1964. He was defeated by Lyndon B. Johnson in a landslide.
Kinzinger retweeted Forbes reporter Andrew Solender, who had written a post detailing some of Pence’s comments, and rejected the idea Trump and Reagan were comparable.
“Reagan inspired. Trump destroyed. No comparison,” Kinzinger, who has been an outspoken critic of Trump, wrote. “I am still amazed at these people that are so deferential to the weakest man i ever met.”
Kinzinger was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January and has regularly questioned those in his party who remain loyal him.
Reagan is considered a conservative icon and was one of the most popular presidents in recent history. He won the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections in Electoral College landslides.
Reagan inspired. Trump destroyed. No comparison. I am still amazed at these people that are so deferential to the weakest man i ever met. https://t.co/3vlWF9VXCO
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) June 25, 2021
Newsweek has contacted Pence and Kinzinger’s offices for comment.
Pence also used his speech to discuss his role in certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election on January 6 and said he would “always be proud” of his actions.
Trump had called on Pence to reject the Electoral College results so that he could stay in office and has expressed disappointment that Pence did not try to do so. However, the former vice president pointed out on Thursday that he could not have done what Trump wanted.
“The Constitution affords the vice president no authority to reject or return electoral votes submitted to the Congress by the states,” Pence said.
Pence said there were “those in our party” who thought “any one person” could choose the president and he rejected the idea.
“Truth is, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president,” Pence said.
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