February 9, 2024

By Emily Brooks


House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said that she would not have allowed 2020 election results to be certified on Jan. 6, 2021, had she been in former Vice President Mike Pence’s position.

“I would not have done what Mike Pence did. I don’t think that was the right approach,” Stefanik said Thursday evening on CNN. “I specifically stand by what I said on the House floor.’

Stefanik, widely seen as a top contender to be former President Trump’s vice presidential pick in 2024, voted against certifying election results in Pennsylvania on Jan. 6 after rioters breached the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the election.

Stefanik did, however, vote to certify election results in Arizona, the only other state to be contested in Congress that day.

“There was unconstitutional overreach in states like Pennsylvania, and I think it’s very important that we continue to stand up for the Constitution and have legal and secure elections, which we did not have in 2020,” Stefanik said.

Speaking on the House floor in 2021, Stefanik had referenced a 2020 Pennsylvania court case that said mail-in ballots could not be rejected because of comparisons on signatures, which infuriated Trump allies.

CNN host Kaitlan Collins pushed back with a reference to a different case, saying the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had rejected another Republican-led case that challenged mail-in voting itself as unconstitutional — a mail-in voting law that was approved under a Republican-controlled state legislature.

“It was unconstitutional when there was circumventing state legislatures, unilaterally changing election law,” Stefanik said.

Trump had urged Pence to try to use his position as president of the Senate, presiding over a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, to simply not count election results from certain states that had voted for Biden and reverse the ultimate outcome of the election.

Pence declined to do so, writing in a statement that day: “My considered judgment is that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”

Collins asked Stefanik about whether she has been part of any vetting process to be considered as Trump’s vice presidential pick.

“I’m happy to be one of the top surrogates for President Trump,” Stefanik said. “I voted for him in 2016. I was proud to work with him on his impeachment defense team when the first witch hunt started against him.”

“I would [be] proud to serve in a Trump administration, but we have a lot to do. I have a lot of responsibility as the Republican conference chair,” Stefanik said.