“Weak,” “delusional,” “wimp,” “liddle,” and “gone to the Dark Side” are all insults that Donald Trump has flung at his former vice president, Mike Pence. But now that Pence has dropped out of the 2024 presidential race, Trump very much wants his endorsement.
Trump, who defended his supporters chanting “Hang Mike Pence” during the Jan. 6 insurrection, spoke about the former VP at a campaign event Saturday night shortly after Pence announced the suspension of his campaign.
“People are leaving [the race] now, and they’re all endorsing me,” Trump said at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Saturday night. “I don’t know about Mike Pence. He should endorse me. You know why? Because I had a great successful presidency, and he was the vice president, he should endorse me. I chose him, made him vice president. But… people in politics can be very disloyal. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
TRUMP ON PENCE: “He should endorse me…because I had a great, successful presidency”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 29, 2023
Despite Trump lambasting him, Pence has remained a relatively firm Trump supporter even as he ran against him for the 2024 Republican nomination. Pence has repeatedly labeled himself a “MAGA Republican,” defended Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 as “reckless” but not “criminal” — even though he admitted that Trump “endangered my family” that day — and refused to rule out voting for Trump in 2024. So while it may seem crazy, a Pence endorsement is not entirely out of the picture.
In his speech announcing he was bowing out of the race, Pence called on the GOP to “give our country a Republican standard-bearer that will, as Lincoln said, ‘appeal to the better angels of our nature,’ and not only lead us to victory, but lead our nation with civility back to the time-honored principles that have always made America strong and prosperous and free.”
The doomed fate of Pence’s campaign, which only lasted six months, became clear in recent weeks as the former vice president could not break through in the polls and struggled to gather more than 13 people at an Iowa Pizza Ranch.
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