Trump on Pence’s 2024 presidential race exit: ‘He should endorse me’
Former Vice President Mike Pence has announced the suspension of his campaign for the presidency. This decision comes as a result of dwindling poll numbers and financial challenges. Pence made the announcement during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual conference in Las Vegas.
One of the primary concerns in Pence’s campaign was the doubt surrounding his qualification for the third debate stage scheduled for the following month. The inability to secure the necessary donors to meet the qualifications played a significant role in his decision.
Pence emphasized that he will continue to support and work towards the election of “principled Republican leaders” despite suspending his campaign. He stated, “I will never leave the fight for conservative values and will never stop fighting to elect principled Republican leaders to every office in the land.”
The decision to suspend the campaign was closely guarded among advisers, with many event planners unaware of the on-stage announcement. Pence’s campaign was built on a return to core conservative principles, distancing himself from the populism that has reshaped the modern GOP.
Despite his efforts, the withdrawal from the 2024 race highlights the shift in the Republican Party, which has been significantly influenced by former President Donald Trump. Trump remains a dominant figure in the 2024 GOP presidential race, despite legal challenges.
Pence, who previously served as the governor of Indiana and as a U.S. congressman, launched his campaign in early June. He placed particular importance on early-voting states, notably Iowa, where he focused on connecting with voters in intimate settings. As an evangelical Christian, Pence courted the conservative evangelical voting bloc.
In a unique position, Pence had served as vice president under Trump and was competing against him for the GOP nomination in this election cycle. He tried to distinguish himself by emphasizing differences in policy, particularly on Social Security, abortion restrictions, and foreign policy, including U.S. support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
The key moment that weighed heavily on Pence’s campaign was his role on January 6, 2021, during Congress’ certification of the 2020 election results. Pence, in his ceremonial role, refused to reject electoral votes, which led to a public break with Trump.
Pence addressed this matter on the campaign trail, asserting that he did his duty under the Constitution. Despite this, he faced challenges gaining support.
Former President Trump did not immediately address Pence’s withdrawal from the race during his speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition summit. However, he later mentioned it at a campaign event in Las Vegas, suggesting that Pence should endorse him, citing their shared history.
Pence’s campaign faced difficulties, including struggles to meet individual donor thresholds and financial challenges. In October, he filed for the state-run Nevada presidential primary, which made him ineligible for delegates to the GOP convention. The campaign also reported $620,000 in debt during the third fundraising quarter, raising questions about its viability.
Despite his criticism of fellow Republican candidates, Pence pledged to support the eventual GOP nominee and ruled out the possibility of becoming a vice-presidential nominee again, having run for the position twice.
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