Pence Announces Bid to Get Humiliated by Trump Again

mike-pence-running.jpg Former Vice President Mike Pence Visits "Fox & Friends" - Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images
mike-pence-running.jpg Former Vice President Mike Pence Visits "Fox & Friends" - Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images

Mike Pence announced his 2024 candidacy on Wednesday, entering a crowded field of Republican hopefuls that includes Donald Trump — the man who cheered on a mob chanted for the former vice president to be hanged on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Jan. 6 was a tragic day in the life of our nation … as I’ve said many times, on that fateful day President Trump’s words were reckless,” the former vice president said at his kickoff campaign rally. “He endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol. The American people deserve to know that on that day, President Trump also demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. Voters will be faced with the same choice. I chose the Constitution, and I always will.”

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Pence filed his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Monday.

Pence has a lot of work to do if he expects to secure the Republican nomination. Trump still has a firm grip on the hearts and minds of conservative voters, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — who announced his candidacy last last month — is widely seen as only real threat to the former president’s perch atop the GOP. Early polling numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, but FiveThirtyEight’s weighted polling average has Trump at 53.9 percent, DeSantis at 21.1 percent, and Pence pulling a cool 5.4 percent of respondents.

Pence has name recognition and far-right Christians love his push for a national ban on abortion, but he’s a villain in MAGA circles for failing to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election. “Maybe our supporters have the right idea,” Trump remarked as Capitol rioters called for Pence’s execution following the refusal, according to the Jan. 6 committee. “Mike Pence deserves it.”

Pence has stood by his decision to certify the election results, but he hasn’t fully turned on Trump. He bashed the former president’s indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, calling it an “outrage,” and though he testified before a Washington, D.C., grand jury for over seven hours about Trump’s plot to steal the 2020 election, he tried to fight the subpoena asking him to do so.

Pence has criticized Trump over the course of countless appearances at conservative events and stops in critical primary states since leaving office, but the criticism has been mild. “I think it’s time for new leadership in this country that will bring us together around our highest ideals,” he told CNN last November, adding that Republicans have “better choices” than the former president.

Trump has yet to comment on his former vice president entering the fold, but whenever he does, it’s unlikely he’ll be so oblique.

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