Former President Donald Trump’s rivals for the GOP presidential nomination were quick to issue statements Tuesday evening after federal prosecutors charged him with conspiring to seize a second term after losing the 2020 election.
Most respected the dominant view of the GOP base that Trump is being railroaded:
Tim Scott was among those pivoting to Hunter Biden: “What we see today are two different tracks of justice. One for political opponents and another for the son of the current president.”
Vivek Ramaswamy repeated his promise to pardon Trump and said Jan. 6 was the result of censorship: “Donald Trump isn’t the cause of what happened on Jan 6. The real cause was systematic & pervasive censorship of citizens in the year leading up to it.”
Ron DeSantis, who has also said he would pardon Trump of any federal crimes, leaned into the idea that any Washington jury was inherently unjust: “Washington, DC is a ‘swamp’ and it is unfair to have to stand trial before a jury that is reflective of the swamp mentality.”
Nikki Haley, who has previously suggested she’d be open to pardoning Trump, has not yet issued a statement.
Chris Christie issued another thundering denunciation: “The events around the White House from election night forward are a stain on our country’s history & a disgrace to the people who participated. This disgrace falls the most on Donald Trump.”
Asa Hutchinson said, “I have always said that Donald Trump is morally responsible for the attack on our democracy. Now, with today’s indictment, our system of Justice will determine whether he is criminally responsible.” He included a fundraising link and implored supporters to help him qualify for the upcoming debates.
Will Hurd, perhaps the purest #NeverTrump candidate, said: “Let me be crystal clear: Trump’s presidential bid is driven by an attempt to stay out of prison and scam his supporters into footing his legal bills. Furthermore, his denial of the 2020 election results and actions on Jan. 6 show he’s unfit for office.”
But the most interesting statement Mike Pence“,”_id”:”00000189-b65a-dc67-a1bf-b77fbc2a0000″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>came from Mike Pence, who offered notably harsher words than he has about the last Trump indictment: “Today’s indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States.”
Meanwhile, the only public statement from President Joe Biden last night was in response to a shouted question from the pool. “It was compelling,” the president said. He was asked how he liked the movie “Oppenheimer.”
The post Here’s how Trump’s 2024 rivals responded to his third indictment appeared first on Politico.