Mike Pence Announces 2024 GOP Presidential Campaign
Washington(TND) - June 8, 2023 6:36 am
FILE - Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to local residents during a meet and greet, Tuesday, May 23, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
WASHINGTON (TND) — Former Vice President Mike Pence formally announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for president Wednesday morning.
In a video, he promised, “the best days of the greatest nation on earth are yet to come” and that “different times call for different leadership.”
His announcement on Twitter came hours ahead of a kickoff event in Des Moines, Iowa.
While it would be “easy to stay on the sidelines,” he adds, “that’s not how I was raised. That’s why today, before God and my family, I’m announcing I’m running for president of the United States.”
Pence is the first vice president in modern history to take on his former running mate, Donald Trump.
Iowa will be the state that will cast the first vote of the GOP nominating calendar and key to Pence’s nomination for president.
Its caucus-goers include a large portion of evangelical Christian voters, whom they see as a natural constituency for Pence. They also think Pence, who represented Indiana in Congress and as governor, is a good personality fit with the Midwestern state.
We believe the path to victory runs through Iowa and all of its 99 counties,” said Scott Reed, co-chair of a super PAC that launched last month to support Pence’s candidacy.
Pence’s challengers include the best-known Republican candidates such as Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
But Pence — seen by Trump critics as complicit with his most indefensible actions and maligned by Trump loyalists as a traitor — is also saddled with high unfavorable ratings.
A CNN poll conducted last month found 45% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they would not support Pence under any circumstance. Only 16% said the same about Trump.
There is also lingering skepticism of Pence among many Republican voters who adhere to the baseless but persistent conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen, according to The Associated Press.
Pence advisers said they recognize the challenge and intend to explain to voters directly that Pence was adhering to his constitutional duty and never had the power to impact the vote in his ceremonial role.
“I think it’s something you have to walk straight through,” said his longtime adviser Marc Short.
According to his team, they see their primary goal as reintroducing Pence to a country that largely knows him as Trump’s second-in-command. They want to remind voters of his time as Indiana governor and congressman before his career was associated with Trump.
People have seen Mike Pence the vice president. I think what people are going to see is Mike Pence the person,” said Todd Hudson, the speaker of the House in Indiana. “I’m super excited for people to get to know the Mike Pence that I know, who’s funny, who’s just a wonderful person… the more relaxed Mike Pence.
Unlike Trump and DeSantis, Pence has argued that cuts to Social Security and Medicare must be on the table and has blasted those who have questioned why the U.S. should continue to send aid to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression.
In speeches, he has argued for fiscal responsibility, including calling for reforms to entitlement programs, a renewal of American energy and restrictions on abortions.
His official website can be found here.