Senator J.D. Vance has essentially admitted he would have carried out a coup during the 2020 election if he could have, in a bald-faced attempt to be chosen as Donald Trump’s running mate.
The Ohio Republican has been floated alongside Representative Elise Stefanik as a possible Trump vice presidential pick. And in an effort to outdo his reported competition, Vance gave a full-throated defense of autocracy during an interview with ABC on Sunday.
When asked if, had he been vice president in 2020, he would have certified the election results, Vance said he would have done things a little differently.
“If I had been vice president, I would have told the states, like Pennsylvania, Georgia, and so many others, that we needed to have multiple slates of electors, and I think the U.S. Congress should have fought over it from there,” Vance said, referring to the fake pro-Trump electors that some states’ Republicans tried to send to Washington.
“That is the legitimate way to deal with an election that a lot of folks, including me, think had a lot of problems in 2020. I think that’s what we should have done.”
It’s unclear what Vance is basing that supposed legitimacy on, considering the Constitution makes no mention of this. Former Vice President Mike Pence has repeatedly stressed that he certified the votes in 2020, against Trump’s wishes, because he was loyal to the Constitution. There has also been no evidence that the election was fraudulent. Not even investigators hired by Trump have found issues.
Vance also said that the president can ignore Supreme Court rulings he doesn’t like.
“The Constitution says that the Supreme Court can make rulings … but if the Supreme Court said the president of the United States can’t fire a general, that would be an illegitimate ruling,” Vance claimed.
This is false: Supreme Court rulings must be obeyed by everyone. That is the whole point of the system of checks and balances established by the Constitution.
Despite being a Trump critic during his career as a writer, Vance quickly changed his tune once he entered politics. Trump even endorsed Vance when he ran for the Senate in 2022. Since coming to Washington, Vance continues to express his seemingly limitless support for Trump, such as by blocking judicial nominations to protest Trump getting indicted.