By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Pence & Trump

Mike Pence
was in New Hampshire Thursday night and talked about Jan. 6, the day President Trump goaded his horde of MAGA supporters to "hang Mike Pence" during an insurrection. The former veep said: “As I said that day, Jan. 6 was a dark day in history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled. The Capitol was secured. And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States. You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day, but I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.” Swift action? It took more than four hours for the Capitol to be secured.

Pence then said: "I will not allow Democrats or their allies in the media to use one tragic day to discredit the aspirations of millions of Americans. Or allow Democrats or their allies in the media to distract our attention from a new administration intent on dividing our country to advance their radical agenda. My fellow Republicans, for our country, for our future, for our children and our grandchildren, we must move forward, united." He then turned his attention to President Biden, citing "a COVID bill to fund massive expansion of the welfare state" and the "so-called infrastructure bill" that was really a "thinly disguised climate change bill." Pence added: "I just say enough is enough. We're going to stand strong for freedom."

HPI Takeaways: This is the second early presidential primary state Pence has spoken. He is clearly laying the groundwork for a 2024 run. Pence said that he and Trump have spoken a number of times since Jan. 6. He is running a distant second to Trump in a number of polls. "We did our duty" is his mild retort to Trump, who had pressured Pence to scuttle the 2020 election before turning the MAGA mob on his veep. Pence is attempting to thread the GOP needle. Despite the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Republican Party remains enthralled with . . . Donald Trump at this point. Pence may not have the party juice to "not allow" anything.

2. 17 injured Capitol cops still out

CBS News: Nearly five months after the January 6 Capitol riot, at least 17 police officers remain out of work due to injuries sustained during the attack. At least 10 Capitol Police officers were out with injuries as of Thursday while seven members of the D.C. Metropolitan Police force remained in a "less than full duty status" due to the events of the riot. In total, more than 150 officers were injured in the attack: 86 Capitol Police officers reported injuries, the sources said, along with 65 members of the DCMPD, Chief Robert Contee testified in January. Contee also said that even more D.C. police officers sustained injuries they "did not even bother to report," including scratches, bruises and eyes burned from chemical spray. Violence that day left officers with head wounds, cracked ribs and smashed spinal disks, according to Capitol Police Labor Committee Chairman Gus Papathanasiou.

3. INDems kickoff statewide campaign

Indiana Democrats kicked off their statewide tour in Fort Wayne touting President Biden's American Rescue Plan in front of a modest crowd of about 50 people Thursday night. Fort Wayne received $50 million and Allen County $73 million. “They sent us part of the money, and now they’re telling us how they would like to have it invested,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, who was joined by former senator Joe Donnelly and House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta. “But we’ll be putting together a committee to even get more specific. Broadband application is one thing. Well, ‘how are you going to do that?’ So we’re gonna try to identify certain steps within that broadband application to determine where that money should be spent.”  

4. Long calls for Rokita recusal

Former Senate President David Long says Attorney General Todd Rokita should recuse himself in his legal battle with Gov. Eric Holcomb over hiring outside legal counsel. “The Governor, like all governors faced an unprecedented situation,” Long insisted on WPTA-TV's  latest episode of Political Radar. “Now they’re lawyered up and headed to court, but I still feel like there might be a path to work things out. I sure hope they can." Rokita, Long said, "represents both sides and that’s a problem. Frankly, I wish the AG would step aside and allow each side to have its own attorneys.” Long believes political ambitions are also factoring into Rokita’s involvement. “This is political. The AG is probably running for governor in 2024 when Holcomb’s term is finished. There’s politics involved in this.”

5. U.S. jobless rate falls to 5.8%

The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs in May. The jobless rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1%. Forecasters had estimated 670,000 new jobs. This comes on the heels of April when just 278,000 jobs were added, far below estimates, potentially imperiling the pandemic recovery. Wall Street Journal: “We think it will take several months for frictions in the labor market to work themselves out,” said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays. “That just means we shouldn’t be expecting one to two million jobs every month. Instead, it will be a more gradual process.”

Have a great weekend, folks. It's The Atomic!