He had little chance, but he is the most important Republican candidate to throw in the towel so far. Former US Vice President Mike Pence announced on Saturday that he was withdrawing his bid for the Republican Party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential election.
“I came to tell you that it has become clear to me: this is not my time,” declared Mike Pence, addressing the gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) at a convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“After careful thought and prayer, I have decided to suspend my campaign for the presidency,” he said.
Candidate Pence, who was struggling in the polls with 3.8% of voting intentions according to the specialized site fivethirtyeight.com, had little chance against his former boss Donald Trump, who is the heavy favorite in the Republican primaries, despite his legal setbacks.
He gave no indication intended to support this or that other candidate during this speech that completely surprised his audience, but received a standing ovation.
“I’m leaving this campaign, but let me promise you that I will never give up the fight for conservative values,” he said again.
The eight leading candidates for the Republican Party nomination are scheduled to speak at this weekend’s rally, including Donald Trump, who leads the polls, and his closest challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
This annual event, where conservative Oval Office hopefuls traditionally seek financial support, is of particular importance this year to the American Jewish community, traumatized by the Hamas attack that left 1,400 dead in Israel on 7 of October
Trump crushes the campaign
A fierce opponent of abortion, Mike Pence helped Donald Trump win over the religious right by being his running mate during the 2016 presidential campaign.
After years of unwavering loyalty, he changed his tune after the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, which shook American democracy.
And this 64-year-old evangelical Christian has even decided to challenge his former boss in the 2024 Republican primary.
But the former Indiana governor’s chances quickly appeared slim, with Republican activists loyal to the former president calling him a “traitor.”
This is because Mike Pence, who as vice president, did not prevent the certification by elected officials of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, for which Donald Trump and his loyalists do not forgive him.
With Mike Pence’s defection, seven major candidates remain in the running for the Republican nomination and possibly challenge Democrat Joe Biden, who is running for re-election in November 2024.
Donald Trump, for his part, is currently crushing the Republican campaign, despite the fact that he is the target of several legal processes, including a trial at the federal level that will begin on March 4 in Washington for having tried to revoke the result of the presidential election of 2020
The former president denounces his legal problems as “election interference” at the instigation of the Biden administration to exclude him from the race for the White House.
Mr Trump is also being sued in New York state over suspicious payments to a former porn actress and in Florida over his negligent handling of confidential documents after leaving the White House.
Along with several of his children, the Republican billionaire is currently in a civil trial in New York state court for alleged financial fraud in the management of his real estate empire.
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