Mike Pence’s decision to decline an invitation to the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has been backed by Twitter users who commented that “most attendees want him dead”.
Dozens tweeted in support of the former vice president on Sunday following the announcement that he would not deliver an address to conservative leaders at the annual conference, having done so on previous occasions.
Notably, the decision to turn down CAPC’s invitation came a day after Donald Trump was reported to be due to attend, and is expected to use the platform to set-out a 2024 presidential run with an address to conservative leaders on Sunday, Axios reported.
One Twitter user wrote of Mr Pence’s decision: “Most of the attendees want him to be executed but yeah, I'm sure Mike Pence will be happy to show up.”
“Trump speaking at CPAC not Mike Pence tells you all you need to know about the direction that the GOP has decided their future is and [that] it's for the overthrow[ing] of our current government,” another wrote.
“Those who ignore what Trump tried to do are complicit in the insurrection,” the Twitter user added.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a primary organiser of CPAC, confirmed to multiple outlets on Sunday that Mr Pence, who has been keeping a relatively low profile since the 6 January attack on Congress, had been asked to address conservative leaders but declined.
In an apparent plea for Mr Pence to change his mind, Mr Schlapp told USA Today that “his conservative record is well respected, and conservatives want to hear his take on the current threats posed by socialism and this radicalised Democrat party.”
Aides to Mr Pence remarked to Fox News that the former vice president’s relations with his former boss were limited because there was some “bitterness" and a sense of "ultimate betrayal” about Mr Trump’s actions on 6 January.
Mr Trump wrote on Twitter that “Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution” by overturning the 2020 vote, while Congress was stormed by a mob. The former president had falsely claimed that Mr Pence had the power to overturn the result of the election during that day’s business.
Some rioters were chanting “Hang Mike Pence” while others had set up a gallows outside the Capitol. Mr Trump ignored desperate pleas from Republican lawmakers to call off the mob for several hours. Five people lost their lives during the attack on the Capitol.
Conservatives have since been divided on how to manage Mr Trump and his future influence over the Republican party, following his acquittal at an impeachment trial for inciting the Capitol riot.
The former president said in a statement last week: “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again (MAGA) has only just begun.