Pence drops out of 2024 presidential race

Former Vice President Mike Pence announced Saturday that he is suspending his 2024 campaign for the White House.

“It’s become clear to me it’s not my time,” Pence said during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference. “I’ve decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today.”

“To the American people, I say: this is not my time, but it is still your time,” he added.

The former Indiana governor said that while he’s leaving the campaign trail, he will “never stop fighting to elect principled Republican leaders to every office in the land.”

“We always knew this would be an uphill battle but I have no regrets,” Pence added. “The only thing that would have been harder than coming up short would have been if we’d never tried at all.”

Pence exits the crowded GOP field led by his ex-running mate, former President Trump, after struggling to pull ahead of his fellow Republican candidates battling to get closer to the frontrunner.

Pence launched his bid in early June, making a pitch for “different leadership” and touting his experience as a congressman and governor of Indiana, as well as his time in the White House. He’s stressed his pride in the Trump-Pence administration, despite his criticisms of his former boss.

“My family and I have been blessed beyond measure with opportunities to serve this nation. And it would be easy to stay on the sidelines. But that’s not how I was raised,” Pence said in his kickoff video.

Pence, who had been a Trump cheerleader throughout the administration, broke with the former president after their 2020 election loss, when Pence certified the results showing President Biden’s win despite pressure from Trump, who has continued to tout claims of widespread election fraud.

The former vice president, Indiana governor and congressman leaned into his firm belief in traditional conservative values, often breaking from candidates like Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in the process.

Pence was outspoken in his support for stricter limits on abortion, an issue Trump has dodged, he backed U.S. aid for Ukraine in its war with Russia, and the former vice president was open about the need to reform programs like Social Security and Medicare.

But his focus on policy failed to translate to stronger poll numbers or donor excitement as Trump has dominated the race.

Pence stood out on the party’s first presidential debate stage in Milwaukee back in August, but regularly polled in the single-digits as the cycle warmed up.

Filings show Pence raised $3.3 million during the third fundraising quarter, coupled with around $620,000 in debt. He ended September with just around $1.2 million in cash on hand.

By comparison, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — long considered Trump’s closest challenger — brought in $15 million across his campaign committee, leadership PAC and joint fundraising committee in the third quarter. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley brought in $11 million between three of her political committees during that same period.

Pence’s exit from the GOP primary race winnows the field of White House hopefuls battling to get closer to Trump, leaving those who supported his bid to look toward other candidates.

Lauren Irwin and Steff Danielle Thomas contributed reporting.

Updated at 3:33pm EST.

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