When former Vice President Mike Pence underwent routine surgery this week to install a pacemaker, evangelist Franklin Graham used social media, including the Gab app, to request prayers for recovery. Some internet users took that opportunity to voice their opinions about Pence, specifically regarding his action—or inaction—on January 6, during violent protests at the U.S. Capitol.
Although President Trump and his supporters had encouraged Pence to block the certification of Electoral College votes that day, the VP concluded he didn’t have “unilateral authority” to do so. Chants of “Hang Mike Pence!” could be heard among the crowd on January 6.
Franklin Graham on the Gab App: Pence ‘Is on the Mend’
On April 15, Graham posted this message on his social media accounts, including the Gab app, which touts its support for “free speech”:
Former Vice President Mike Pence is recovering from his surgery to have a pacemaker implanted yesterday. They said he should be back to full activity in just a few days, but I know that he, Karen, and their family would appreciate your prayers. He told me this evening that he is on the mend and God is good!
Negative comments soon appeared, with many people on Gab calling Pence a traitor who needs to repent. The theme of a stolen or fraudulent election also runs through many responses.
“True, God is good,” one person writes. “He’s given the Americans a second chance to see Traitor Pence prosecuted and hung.” Another writes, “Pence is a traitor. But I’ve been told we should pray for our enemies.” One notes that with a longer life, the former VP “will have more time and opportunity to do penance and make amends for the terrible damage he did to the USA by shirking his responsibility.”
Some Gab comments question Pence’s faith: “No one close to God would have such an untroubled conscience,” reads one. Another person writes, “Judas’s health is failing, let this be a lesson to all… He chose accolades from satanists instead of praise from martyrs.”
Other comments include, “He’s a spineless sellout” and “A spine implant would have been useful,” with that person adding, “Another RINO [Republican In Name Only]. I don’t wish bad on him, but he is useless.”
Comments on Twitter Trend in the Opposite Direction
In response to Graham’s identical prayer request on Twitter, people posted comments such as “I didn’t even know he had a heart,” “Prayers but I won’t support him if he runs,” “Your orange god tried to have Pence murdered by an angry crowd” and “Who wouldn’t need a pacemaker after all the stress of knowing Trump wants to off you!”
The former VP, a pro-life Christian who served as governor of Indiana, recently launched a political advocacy group called Advancing American Freedom. His name is being raised as a possible Republican candidate for the 2024 U.S. presidential election.
Pence is expected to make a full recovery and “return to normal activity in the coming days,” according to his office. He had experienced heart-rate abnormalities before receiving the pacemaker at a Virginia hospital this week. “My family has been truly blessed by the work of these dedicated health care professionals,” Pence said in a statement.