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Live Update-Pence says he’s leaving DC in emotional farewell speech

Pence says he’s leaving DC in emotional farewell speech

<p>Mike and Karen Pence at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. </p> (AP)

Mike and Karen Pence at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

(AP)

Former Vice President Mike Pence got emotional, his voice cracking at times, during a farewell speech in Indiana in which he thanked Donald Trump and said he would leave DC to move back to Indiana in time for summer.

Speaking in front of at least 60 people at the airport in his hometown of Columbus, Mr Pence said “I’ve already promised Karen we will be moving back to Indiana come this summer,” adding “There’s no place like home”.

Mr Pence spoke at a podium with the words “Back home again” across it and the song “Back Home Again in Indiana” blaring before his speech, according to Newsweek.

Once again taking on the more traditional role of representing an outgoing administration, a role that Mr Trump has rejected, Mr Pence mentioned the new heads of the executive branch by name. “Allow me to offer my congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris,” Mr Pence said.

Mr Pence thanked former President Trump for letting him serve.

“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,” Mr Pence said.

The relationship between Mr Pence and Mr Trump became severely strained after the Capitol riots, when Trump supporters chanted “Where’s Mike Pence?” as they stormed the building after Mr Trump slammed Mr Pence on Twitter for not attempting to overturn the election, something which Mr Pence did not have the constitutional ability to do.

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“While we don’t know what the future holds, we know who holds the future. I’m absolutely confident that the best days, for this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, are yet to come,” Mr Pence added.

Karen Pence also spoke, at times holding back tears.

“This is the exact same plane that took us to Washington, and Mike wanted to sit in the jump seat. He wanted to take it all in. He wanted to get that clear perspective. Landing here back home again in Indiana, in Columbus, Indiana, he got that perspective,” she said.

Mr Pence’s older brother Greg Pence, a current Indiana congressman, and Indiana lieutenant governor Suzanne Crouch also attended the event, The Daily Mail reported.

The former vice president praised the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, saying: “I will always be proud to have served in an administration that came alongside doctors and nurses and first responders and organised a whole-of-government response to federal, state and local level to meet this moment.”

406,000 Americans have died from Covid so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Mike Pence was an Indiana Congressman from 2001 to 2013 and the governor of the state from 2013 to 2017 before being chosen as Donald Trump’s running mate during the 2016 election.

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