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Former President Trump literally handpicked Mike Pence as veep for his evangelical bona fides, so the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Orlando, Florida, should have been home turf for him.
But it sure didn’t sound like it.
Less than a minute after Pence took the stage Friday to address his fellow Christians, his speech was drowned out by boos and calls of “Traitor!”
The group, led by Ralph Reed, the Bush-era consultant who turned evangelical Christians into one of the most potent voting blocs in America, welcomed Pence, who’s a former Christian radio host with mostly unassailable religious conservative credentials.
But that’s apparently not enough in today’s GOP.
After opening his speech with an awkward soft-smile and head nod, Pence thanked Reed for “overly generous words” during his speech and called him a “good friend.”
That’s when the audience had some words for Pence, who was accompanied by other Republican guests Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Shouts of “Traitor!” made the former vice president’s words almost inaudible.
Attendees were likely upset about Pence’s refusal to follow Trump’s orders and reject the 2020 Electoral College vote, which was disrupted by the January 6 insurrection, where pro-Trump rioters ran through the Capitol chanting “Hang Mike Pence.” Pence, however, couldn’t overturn the results of the election in any legitimate way.
“I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,” Pence can barely be heard saying as the heckling picks up and echoes through the crowd. “And I am honored to stand before you today.”
One attendee who yelled “Traitor!” during this portion of his speech was reportedly escorted out of the conference.
During Pence’s call to rally “patriots”, he urged attendees to support the GOP and their efforts in reclaiming the majority in Congress.