‘Maligned’ Ex-VP Mike Pence Scraps Presidential Campaign – Former Vice President Mike Pence made a surprising announcement on Saturday, suspending his 2024 presidential campaign due to financial challenges and a shifting Republican landscape.
Pence revealed his decision at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition convention in Las Vegas, taking the stage to address the crowd.
“I came here to say it’s become clear to me this is not my time. So after much deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today,” Pence stated during his speech. He added, “I have no regrets. The only thing that would have been harder than coming up short would have been if we never tried at all.”
Pence’s spokesperson, Devin O’Malley, explained that the choice of venue for the announcement was significant, citing that “the conflict in Israel is a microcosm of what Pence has been evangelizing regarding populism and traditional conservative values.” O’Malley also noted that the Republican Jewish Coalition offered Pence an opportunity to make his case in front of a supportive audience.
Following Pence’s announcement, a flurry of his fellow Republicans praised his character and dedication to conservative values. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said, “He’s been a good man of faith. He’s been a good man of service,” and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted his support for Pence’s principles.
Former President Donald Trump’s remarks were not as charitable. During a speech in Las Vegas, Trump called on Pence to endorse him and criticized him for a lack of loyalty. “He should endorse me,” Trump remarked, “Because I had a great successful presidency, and he was the vice president… I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Pence faced challenges in gaining support within a crowded primary field, particularly as he distanced himself from Trump on several key issues, including abortion, support for Ukraine, and the national debt. His positions did not resonate with the pro-Trump faction of the Republican Party, which turned against him after he certified the 2020 election results.
Financial difficulties plagued Pence’s campaign, as his latest campaign finance filing revealed $600,000 in debt and only $1.2 million in cash on hand. Despite making the stage for the first two Republican primary debates, the campaign failed to secure the required 70,000 individual donors for the third debate.
Pence acknowledged the changing landscape of the Republican Party, stating that “the positions that I take as a traditional conservative are increasingly at odds” with those of other candidates. He observed that the party was engaged in a debate over its future, with a division between common sense conservatism and populism without conservative principles.
Throughout his campaign, Pence focused on Iowa, where he had pledged to visit all 99 counties. His announcement in June and subsequent visits to the state were aimed at reintroducing himself to voters despite his widespread name recognition.
Before serving as Trump’s vice president, Pence had been the governor of Indiana and represented his hometown district in Congress for 12 years.
What the Experts Told Us on Mike Pence
Adam Bruton, a Senior Researcher at the London-based intelligence firm Winter Circle Ltd told 19FortyFive that: “For a GOP candidate to win, they had to be able to appeal to both the Trump-lite wing of the party and the old fashioned neoconservative wing to have any hope of beating Trump. Pence was never going to be that candidate.
“For one, he never really got on the Trump Train while VP and his presence was much less prominent compared to previous VPs.
“As a result there was always that distance that Trump inclined voters would see and view Pence as being not fully committed to the President. But his refusal to play along with the January 6 march sealed his fate.
“It is worth noting that a large number of GOP voters, even those who weren’t massively pro trump, were broadly sympathetic to the principle of overturning the election, as borne out in polling data. Pence’s refusal, while the right thing to do, meant he was always gonna be too toxic.
“Anti-Trump Republicans were also unlikely to back Pence as he was still Trump’s VP. Even DeSantis can plausibly claim further distance from Trump than Pence. Plus, a notable group of the almost-never or fully Never Trumpers tend to more socially moderate positions.”
“Pence’s issue was that he is an anachronism, a figure of malign with virtually every stream of thought in his party. There is no faction of the GOP that, when asked what candidate would give them most of what they want, that the answer is Mike Pence.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.