Mike Pence Drops Out of 2024 Presidential Race

From a Wall Street Journal story by Alex Leary and John McCormick headlined “Mike Pence Drops Out of 2024 Republican Presidential Race”:

Former Vice President Mike Pence withdrew from the Republican presidential race Satur, saying “this is not my time” after he struggled to gain traction in a crowded field dominated by former President Donald Trump.

“I’m leaving this campaign but let me promise you I will never leave the fight for conservative values,” Pence said during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas.

Pence, who is 64 years old, became the highest-profile candidate to exit from the race, though he fared poorly in polls and ran low on money needed to sustain a campaign.

The former vice president pulled in just $3.4 million during the third quarter of the year and it was unclear whether he would meet the Republican National Committee’s requirements for fundraising and polling to participate in the third GOP primary debate in Miami on Nov. 8.

Additional departures are possible in the final months before the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses, the first nomination balloting and an event likely to trigger more exits from the race. The former president has benefited from a large field that has divided up the non-Trump vote within the party.

Pence’s certification of the 2020 election results during the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2021, in defiance of Trump and after a mob attacked the Capitol, was one of the biggest reasons his nomination bid faltered. Trump backers have never forgiven what they see as a betrayal, while anti-Trump Republicans still blame Pence for being a supplicant the previous four years.

As a result, neither wing of the GOP backed a man who spent decades courting conservatives and would have been viewed as a top Republican contender in a pre-Trump world. Reporters often asked Pence more about Trump and related legal matters than his policy proposals.

Pence’s decision comes just ahead of the expected release of an Iowa Poll on Monday morning. The survey, the most closely watched poll in the state, is led by the Des Moines Register newspaper and may show the former vice president struggling in a state where he has almost totally focused his campaign.

Pence announced his decision at the end of a speech before Jewish activists in which he rejected growing isolationism in the GOP. While Republicans are advocating strong support for Israel in its war against Hamas, they are split on continued funding for Ukraine.

The former vice president, who became a born-again Christian in college, went on to become a radio talk-show host before being elected to Congress and later Indiana’s governor.

He is a longtime promoter of limited government, an ally to social conservative groups, and has backed some of the most restrictive abortion proposals put forward by the Republican presidential field.

“We always knew this would be an uphill battle, but I have no regrets,” Pence said.

Speak Your Mind