A super PAC backing former Vice President Mike Pence’s White House bid put the events of Jan. 6, 2021, front-and-center in its first ad since Pence announced his campaign this week.
The Committed to America PAC released “Leader,” a one-minute ad that features images of the riots at the Capitol when a pro-Trump mob sought to stop the certification of the 2020 election. The ad contrasts Trump’s calls to overturn the election with Pence’s refusal to reject the results, and it signals that Jan. 6 will play a prominent role in Pence’s campaign against his former boss.
“A president begging him to ignore the Constitution. A mob shouting for him to die. And an anxious nation watching for one man to do what’s right,” a voiceover says in the ad over images from the attack.
“A weak man appeases a mob; a man of courage and character stands up to them. That day, one man failed the test of leadership, while another stood tall,” the ad continues.
The ad goes on to refer to Trump as a “so-called leader” who has “continued to abandon our conservative principles.”
The ad will run through June 20 in Iowa as part of a $250,000 cable and digital buy, the super PAC said.
“Mike Pence has proven he won’t back down to Trump, where is the rest of the field?” Bobby Saparow, executive director of Committed to America, asked in a statement. “This ad sets the tone for what you can expect from us. No issue will be off limits for our operation.”
Pence made the events of Jan. 6 central to his campaign launch Wednesday in Iowa, using that day’s events as the key argument for why he is challenging Trump for the Republican Party’s nomination in 2024.
The former vice president argued that Trump had asked him to defy his oath to the Constitution by pressuring him to reject the election results, and suggested those actions were disqualifying for Trump to be elected again.
“The American people deserve to know on that fateful day, President Trump also demanded I choose between him and our Constitution,” Pence said. “Now, voters will be faced with the same choice. I chose the Constitution, and I always will.”