Mike Pence, the former Vice President under Donald Trump, has announced his bid to become the Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election. In a video released on Wednesday, he stated that “different times call for different leadership“. However, despite being Trump’s loyal deputy, Pence has struggled to win over the former President’s supporters due to his refusal to overturn the 2020 election results in Trump’s favor.
Pence is the first former VP in modern times to run against his old boss. With the official paperwork filed on Monday, he made a formal announcement in Iowa on Wednesday, focusing on the themes of improving the economy, immigration, and transgender sports rules. In the video, Pence relied heavily on religious imagery and quoted Abraham Lincoln’s appeal to the “better angels of our nature.”
Despite his long-standing loyalty to Trump, Pence has been ridiculed by critics for being obsequious towards the former President. In one infamous instance, Trump berated Pence for not having the courage to overturn Biden’s victory, and the former VP replied, “other than your family, no one in this administration has been more loyal to you than me.” However, Pence ultimately declined Trump’s request, claiming that it would be unconstitutional.
This move, however, cost Pence his standing among Republicans who were loyal to Trump, with many seeing him as a traitor. Even those who wanted to move on from Trump’s influence felt that Pence’s refusal to follow through on Trump’s request would never erase his loyalty during the former administration, which spanned four years.
Thus, while some voters may reward Pence for his bravery on Jan 6, he will have to work hard to win over those disillusioned by his association with Trump. Republican supporter, David Oman, believes that “He has perhaps a more narrow group of people to reach out to.” Oman co-chaired the Iowa Republican Party from 1985-1993 and has not yet picked a favorite candidate.
In his announcement video, Pence reintroduced himself to voters as a former Indiana Governor and Congressman. Significantly absent from the video was any reference to Trump. Pence attempted to position himself as his own person, distancing himself from the former President, but it remains to be seen if he can overcome his previous association with Trump and win over enough Republican voters to secure the party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential race. The article has been rewritten in 300 words.