Vivek Ramaswamy says Mike Pence missed a 'historic opportunity' on January 6, by failing to push through election reforms before certifying the 2020 presidential vote

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel And Convention Center on March 03, 2023
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • Vivek Ramaswamy argued that Mike Pence missed a "historic opportunity" on January 6, 2021.

  • Ramaswamy said on NBC's "Meet the Press," that Pence should have sought major election reforms.

  • The Pence campaign on Sunday blasted Ramaswamy's comments as "shocking and concerning."

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Sunday said that former Vice President Mike Pence missed a "historic opportunity" to make sweeping election changes on January 6, 2021, before certifying the 2020 presidential results.

During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old entrepreneur and first-time political candidate, said that he would have taken a different approach to the election certification had he been in Pence's shoes.

"I would have done it very differently. I think that there was a historic opportunity that he missed, to reunite this country in that window," he said.

"What I would have said is: This is a moment for a true national consensus where there's two elements of what's required for a functioning democracy in America," he continued. "One is secure elections, and the second is a peaceful transfer of power. When those things come into conflict, that's an opportunity for heroism."

Ramaswamy then said that he would have ensured that major electoral reforms went through Congress before signing off on the 2020 results.

"Here's what I would have said: 'We need single-day voting on Election Day, we need paper ballots and we need government- issued ID matching the voter file.' And if we achieve that, then we have achieved victory and we should not have any further complaint about election integrity. I would have driven it through the Senate," he said.

"In my capacity as president of the Senate, I would have led through that level of reform, then on that condition certified the election results, served it up to the president — President Trump — then to sign that into law," he continued. "And on January 7th, declared the re-election campaign pursuant to a free and fair election. I think that was a missed opportunity."

David James, the press secretary for Pence's presidential campaign, quickly rejected Ramaswamy's comments.

"Vivek's statement today on January 6th is both shocking and concerning in its lack of understanding of how our system of government works," he said.

Pence was pressured by Trump to overturn now-President Joe Biden's 2020 victory, but the then-vice president rejected the attempts.

When the Capitol was stormed by a pro-Trump mob on January 6, he was whisked to secure area of the complex as some of the then-president's supporters sought him out, upset that he wouldn't acquiesce to Trump's demands.

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