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Former Vice President Mike Pence held back tears as he bade an emotional farewell to his previous office and re-entered private life after arriving back home in Indiana.
Speaking at a welcome rally for the ex-VP upon his arrival on Air Force Two in his hometown of Columbus, Ind., Wednesday, Pence repeatedly paused to collect himself as he thanked those who supported him in his time in public office.
While thanking those who attended his homecoming at the outset of his remarks, Pence’s voice quivered as he told the crowd, “It is great to be back home again.”
Pence, who was taken to Indiana directly from Wednesday’s inauguration, went on to congratulate President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their swearing-in before turning his attention to former President Donald Trump.
Pence’s relationship with Trump soured in recent months, with issues coming to a head during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
The Electoral College went 306-232 for Biden, but Trump alleged that widespread fraud had tipped the results in swing states.
Courts rejected those claims, and Trump refused to concede, though in the aftermath of the riots, he pledged a “peaceful transition of power.”
For his part, Pence faced considerable pushback from Trump for declining to challenge certain swing-state electoral votes to turn the election in their favor in his capacity as president of the Senate.
Even as the riots flared, Trump took to Twitter to complain that the veep “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”
The entire incident brought their relationship to a head, with Pence reportedly leaving furious at the then-president’s behavior.
Despite that, Pence had nothing but kind words for his former boss after touching down in the Hoosier State.
“Let me also take a moment to thank President Trump and Melania for all they’ve done to make America great. I will always be grateful for the opportunity that they gave us to serve and the way they allowed us to make a difference in the life of this nation,” he said.
Pence declined to acknowledge any speculation of him mounting a possible 2024 presidential run, though his name continues to come up as a potential candidate.
What he would admit about his plans for the future involved his lodgings, saying he and former second lady Karen Pence were returning home to Indiana full-time.
The two plan to be fully moved back to their home state by the summer.
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