Former Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that former President Trump was wrong to blame Republican losses in the 2022 midterm elections on the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed the federal right to an abortion. 

“The former president actually suggested that we lost elections in the midterms because we overturned Roe v. Wade,” Pence said in an interview on Newsmax. “I don’t believe that for a second.”

Pence said he thought Republicans could still win on the issue of abortion, as long as “you stand on the right to life, and you stand with principle and compassion and demonstrate a willingness to put our arms, not just around the unborn, but around newborns, around women in crisis pregnancies.”

Pence, a GOP 2024 presidential candidate, has touted his untarnished anti-abortion record on the campaign trail, seizing the opportunity to fill the void left by other candidates who have been reluctant to embrace any position on abortion that moderate voters might find too extreme. 

Pence, on Thursday, was invoking comments that Trump, the leading 2024 GOP candidate for president, made after Republicans performed worse than expected in House races. 

Trump had argued that Republicans who supported strict anti-abortion positions without exceptions for rape or life of the mother are to blame for poor performances in 2022. He also sought to push back against claims that he was to blame for losses.

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