Mike Pence leaving Duggan's Reef Restaurant Sunday night. By ERNICE GILBERT FOR VI CONSORTIUM
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who has been vacationing on St. Croix since Wednesday, was spotted dining at the Duggan's Reef Restaurant Sunday night, where he told a family as he was exiting the restaurant, "St. Croix is such a beautiful island."
The Consortium captured a number of photos of the former vice president and heard the comments. Mr. Pence was with his wife and spent a considerable amount of time at the restaurant conversing with his spouse and enjoying the local cuisine.
Seen in the area and in the restaurant were a number of Secret Service personnel and at least one special operations officer of the Virgin Islanders Police Department. The men's presence immediately signaled that a high-level person was at the restaurant. Mr. Pence and his wife were seated southeast of the restaurant where only their sides could be seen while they dined — a seating arrangement that appeared to have been intently chosen to minimize attention.
As he exited, Secret Service personnel secured the vice president but allowed him to interact. His demeanor was kind, and Mr. Pence smiled as he spoke about the island.
After his arrival to St. Croix Wednesday, residents spotted the former vice president multiple times, including at Seaside Market & Deli on the east side of St. Croix.
Mr. Pence's latest visit was not the first. During the Mapp administration, Mr. Pence paid the Big Island (as St. Croix is called) a visit following the devastating storms of 2017.
The former vice president emerged as a steady and stable leader at a time the country needed him most, when he refused to get involved in any action that sought to overturn the Electoral College decision of President Joe Biden's election — a move that aggravated former President Donald Trump and greatly strained the men's relationship. "It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not," Mr. Pence wrote as Mr. Trump pressured him to send results back to state legislatures.
Later, his steady hand was credited again when resisted pressure from House Leader Nancy Pelosi by rejecting the Democrat's demand that he invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office following the riots on Capitol Hill by pro-Trump followers that resulted in five deaths.
Here's what Mr. Pence had to say in a letter to Ms. Pelosi:
"Every American was shocked and saddened by the attack on our Nation’s Capitol last week, and I am grateful for the leadership that you and other congressional leaders provided in reconvening Congress to complete the people’s business on the very same day. It was a moment that demonstrated to the American people the unity that is still possible in Congress when it is needed most.
"But now, with just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution. Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.
"As you know full well, the 25th Amendment was designed to address Presidential incapacity or disability. Just a few months ago, when you introduced legislation to create a 25th Amendment Commission, you said, “[a] President’s fitness for office must be determined by science and facts.” You said then that we must be “[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior that we don’t like, but based on a medical decision.” Madam Speaker, you were right. Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation. Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent..."