Pence Booed, Trump Cheered During Speeches at NRA Event

  • The crowd booed Mike Pence at an NRA event, despite positioning himself as a defender of gun rights.
  •  By contrast, Donald Trump was greeted with loud applause and a two-minute standing ovation.
  • The reception underscores Trump’s position as the GOP frontrunner and suggests challenges for Pence.

Former Vice President Mike Pence was booed at a National Rifle Association event in Indianapolis, while former President Donald Trump was greeted with loud cheers.

As Pence arrived at the podium and called out, “Hello, NRA!” the crowd responded with a mixture of applause and loud boos.

Among the apparent discontent, one heckler shouted, “We love you, Mike!” and he jokingly responded, “I love you too,” which elicited laughter from the crowd.


In his speech on Friday, Pence positioned himself further to the right of Trump on guns, calling for armed officers at schools and an expedited process to execute mass shooters.

The NRA has previously given Pence a “gold-plated rating” for his stance on gun rights, according to Reuters.

However, his comments did not appear to win over the crowd, which again booed him as he finished speaking.

By contrast, his former boss was greeted warmly with a standing ovation that lasted more than two minutes, according to The Washington Post.

In Trump’s speech, he promised to remain a “loyal friend and fearless champion” of the country’s largest gun rights lobbying group as he seeks to be his party’s nominee for the 2024 presidential election.

This was the former president’s first speech since he was indicted on 34 felony charges in New York relating to a hush-money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

After referencing polls that put him ahead of other Republican contenders, including Pence, Trump appeared to acknowledge the crowd’s frosty response to the former vice president.

“I hope you gave Pence a good, warm approval,” he said as the crowd booed some more. 

“No, because he is a nice man. If you want to really know the truth, he is. He’s a good man. And I heard it was very rough.”


The relationship between the former running mates has been tumultuous, having soured in the lead-up to the Capitol riot when Pence refused to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.

Some Capitol rioters chanted to “hang Mike Pence,” and many Trump supporters have turned on him for refusing to support the former president’s baseless claims of election fraud. 

Pence has called the insurrection “a tragic day” and said that Trump’s “reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day.”  

Pence has hinted at interest in running in 2024 but has not officially declared.

The NRA event comes days after a mass shooting at a school in Nashville and a bank in Louisville. There have been at least 146 mass shootings across the US this year. 

Along with Trump and Pence, several Republican hopefuls spoke virtually or in person at the event, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley.

The event’s high-profile turnout highlights how the NRA’s endorsement remains powerful and highly coveted among Republicans.

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