Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared to briefly struggle for words after he was asked in a CNN town hall how his plan to execute those convicted of mass shootings would act as a deterrent, given many “go in with the intention to die.”
After an audible pause Pence told CNN‘s Dana Bash he believes in the “deterrent of law,” adding it’s “not justice” that the Parkland school shooter will spend the rest of his life in prison, rather than facing the death penalty.
Pence announced he is running for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, in a direct challenge to his former boss Donald Trump. Polling suggests his campaign is a long-shot, with a recent YouGov/Yahoo News survey putting him third with Republican voters on 5 percent, behind Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
During Wednesday evening’s event Pence said he has a “different vision for our party” from Trump.
Bush challenged Pence over his plan to execute those convicted of mass shootings, via an expedited process, commenting: “A lot of people who are mass shooters, they go in with the intention to die, so how would the threat of execution be a deterrent?”
The former vice president replied “well,” before appearing to stumble over a word before there was a brief silence. After this he answered: “I follow these stories as closely as you do, of course [in] our years in the White House we saw one tragedy after another and I know we hear that, we see evidence oftentimes in the aftermath, that they went in without regard to whether they would survive.
“But I just believe in the deterrent of law. And I believe perhaps if we made it clear–think about this, the Parkland shooter is going to spend the rest of his life in jail in Florida, that’s not justice.”
A one-minute clip of the exchange was posted on Twitter by independent journalist Aaron Rupar, who has more than 883,000 followers. He commented: “Wow, Dana Bash completely stumped Pence with her point about gun violence here. He had absolutely no response other than filibustering.”
Wow, Dana Bash completely stumped Pence with her point about gun violence here. He had absolutely no response other than filibustering. pic.twitter.com/pRba4lbMfl
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 8, 2023
Newsweek has contacted Pence for comment via email.
Pence also argued for an “armed and trained security guard at every public and private school in America,” arguing this would help counter mass shootings.
During the CNN broadcast Pence also rebuked Trump over an interview in which he described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “genius” over tactics used during his invasion of Ukraine.
The former vice president commented: “I know the difference between a genius and a war criminal, and I know who needs to win the war in Ukraine. And it’s the people fighting for their freedom and fighting to restore their national sovereignty in Ukraine.”
Pence added he doesn’t think Trump will win the Republican presidential primary, but pledged to “support the Republican nominee in 2024” no matter who wins.
He also called on the Justice Department not to indict the former president over his alleged mishandling of classified documents, claiming this would “send a terrible message to the wider world.”
The post Mike Pence Left Stunned by Mass Shooting Question During Town Hall appeared first on Newsweek.