INDIANAPOLIS — Former Vice President Mike Pence was booed in his home state Friday as he spoke to the National Rifle Association's annual meeting here.
Pence, a former Indiana governor who is considering a presidential bid, took the stage to a mix of lusty boos and generous applause. The split reaction underscored part of the challenge Pence would face in a campaign for the GOP nomination in 2024: He enraged then-President Donald Trump, and some of the Republican base, by certifying President Joe Biden's election on Jan. 6, 2021.
At the time, Pence cited his constitutional duty to oversee the official count of electoral votes in Congress, even as Trump demanded that he stand in the way. Trump supporters, some of them chanting "Hang Mike Pence," rushed the U.S. Capitol that day and came close to where Pence sheltered with Secret Service agents.
During his remarks Friday, Pence earned cheers for his call to fight efforts to restrict gun rights.
"We don't need gun control," he said. "We need crime control." And he repeatedly urged NRA members to "stand your ground."
But as Pence left the stage, he did so to another round of cacophony, with some Trump die-hards booing him and many in the crowd standing to applaud him.
Pence was governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017, when he became vice president, and previously represented the state in the House.
Later in the day, Trump spoke and noted the reception Pence received.
"I heard it was very rough," he said.