Pence says he will not endorse Trump in 2024

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Former vice president Mike Pence said on Friday that he will not support donald trumpthe president he served under, just days after Trump won enough delegates to secure the GOP nomination in 2024.

Pence served during the Trump administration, but has criticized the former president after the January 6th2021, attack on the United States Capitol in which Pence was targeted by a mob of Trump supporters who wanted to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Withholding his endorsement in a notable break with tradition, Pence rebuked his former boss in strong terms Friday, saying Trump’s agenda does not align with his vision of conservatism.

“Donald Trump is pursuing and articulating an agenda that is at odds with the conservative agenda that we governed for our four years, and that is why I cannot, in good conscience, endorse Donald Trump in this campaign,” Pence told the host of Fox News, Martha MacCallum. .

The former vice president ran against Trump in the 2024 Republican primary, but struggled to find traction in the race. He He suspended his campaign in October – before votes were cast – when poll numbers were in the low single digits.

His refusal to endorse Trump stands out as many other former rivals and critics within the party have consolidated behind the former president. This month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) endorsed Trumpa surprising reversal after blaming him for the attack on the Capitol three years ago.

Pence split most sharply from Trump on Jan. 6, when he resisted pressure from Trump to overturn his 2020 reelection loss. Pence said Trump endangered his family that day, which included some chants of “ Hang Mike Pence” as rioters stormed the Capitol. Before the resounding split over the 2020 election, the former Indiana governor had dutifully served under Trump for four years.

But Pence said Friday that he has “deep differences” with Trump that go beyond the events of that day, including over the national debt, abortion and China.

Pence specifically cited Trump’s decision. reversal on TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media platform. As president, Trump attempted to ban the app unless it was acquired by an American company, but he is now criticizing a bill in Congress that would force TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, to divest from the app. to share videos.

Pence told Fox News that he will keep his November vote private, but stressed that he will not vote for Trump’s Democratic opponent. president biden.

During his campaign announcement in June, Pence excoriated the former president for his actions during the January 6 attack and his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss. At the time, Pence declared: “Anyone who puts themselves above the Constitution should never be president of the United States and anyone “Asking another person to put himself above the Constitution should never again be president of the United States.”

Pence also questioned Trump over his positions on abortion and entitlement programs, as well as past comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin. During his campaign, Pence sought to return the Republican Party to more Reagan-era policy priorities and warned against the “siren song of populism.”

Pence I had said I would sign a commitment from the Republican National Committee to support the eventual nominee.

Trump’s last major opponent in the primaries, nikki haley, He suspended his campaign this month and he didn’t support it either. The former UN ambassador who served during the Trump administration had signed the Republican National Committee pledge, but suggested in the final days of his campaign that she no longer felt obligated by it.

Triumph secured the number of delegates needed to win the Republican nomination on Tuesday, setting up a long-awaited rematch against Biden. But as the 2024 race refocuses on November’s general election, the former president faces 88 charges in four criminal cases, including two that focus on his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

Instead of campaigning for Trump, Pence said he would spend the rest of the year building support for a “broad, widespread conservative agenda.” Last month, a Pence-aligned group announced a $20 million effort to combat what it called the Republican Party’s “drift toward populism.”

Pence has compared populism to progressivism, saying that populism is made of “little more than personal grievances and performative outrage.”

“If the new right-wing populism takes over and guides our party, the Republican Party we have long known will cease to exist,” Pence said. he said in a speech in September. “And the fate of American freedom would be in doubt.”

Meryl Kornfield contributed to this report.

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