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Pence heckled at conservative event with shouts of 'traitor'

Pence also declared at the event, “Black lives are not endangered by police. Black lives are saved by police.”

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Mike Pence was heckled Friday with calls of “traitor” as he delivered remarks at a conservative policy conference in Kissimmee, Florida.

At first, Pence was greeted by cheers when he appeared on stage at the Faith and Freedom Coalition event, which was billed as charting a policy course toward a conservative majority. But as he began speaking, he was briefly interrupted by a woman who shouted “traitor” several times before she was escorted out. Pence ignored the outburst and continued with his speech.

It’s unclear who the woman was or what her motivation was for heckling Pence. As she started, others in the audience also appeared to yell "no!" repeatedly as Pence spoke over the cacophony.

During the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters, some in the crowd were heard chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” who was in the building overseeing the counting of electoral votes solidifying Biden’s presidential victory. Trump had been urging Pence to try to overturn the results of the election, but the vice president said he did not believe he had the authority to do so, causing a highly public rift between the two that worsened in the aftermath of the riot.

Though Pence on Friday touted what he saw as the accomplishments of the Trump presidency, he has also made clear recently that he may never see “eye to eye” with the former president about Jan. 6. At a GOP event in early June, Pence called it a “dark day in the history of the United States Capitol.”

"You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don't know if we'll ever see eye to eye on that day,” he said.

The former vice president delivered his usual stump speech Friday, outlining what he said are the promises he and Trump fulfilled over the last four years and attacking the job President Joe Biden has done so far.

“After 140 days, the Biden administration and Washington Democrats pushing open borders, higher taxes, runaway spending, defunding the police, abortion on demand, censoring free speech, canceling our most cherished liberties — the time has come for every American dedicated to faith and freedom to stand up and be heard and turn back the agenda of the radical left,” he said.

Pence slammed the Democratic Party, which he claimed was responsible for setting “off a violent crime wave that's wreaking havoc on families all across the country,” and took a swipe at the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Black lives are not endangered by police. Black lives are saved by police,” Pence said. "We don't need to defund the police, we need to defend the police, and put the lives of law-abiding citizens.”

Pence did not address the numerous deaths of Black people in police custody, including George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked protests for racial justice and police reforms last summer in cities across the country.

Ali Vitali contributed.