Former Vice President Mike Pence says he cannot ‘in good conscience’ endorse Trump | Elections 2024

Donald Trump defined Mike Pence, who was his vice president between 2017 and 2021, as “too honest.” Now, citing reasons of conscience, Pence has announced that he will not endorse his former boss in the presidential elections on November 5. It is a symbolic and at the same time extraordinary gesture. Pence has been at odds with Trump since he refused to bow to the latter’s wishes on January 6, 2021, the day of the assault on the Capitol, when he decided to go ahead with the certification of Joe Biden as the legitimate winner of the election.

“Donald Trump is pursuing and articulating an agenda that is at odds with the conservative agenda that we governed on during our four years. That’s why I cannot in good conscience endorse Donald Trump in this campaign,” Pence said in statements to Fox News.

“During my presidential campaign, I made it clear there were profound differences between me and President Trump on a range of issues. And not just our difference on my constitutional duties that I exercised January 6th,” the former vice president explained. “As I have watched his candidacy unfold, I’ve seen him walking away from our commitment to confronting the national debt. I’ve seen him starting to shy away from a commitment to the sanctity of human life. And this last week, his reversal on getting tough on China and supporting our administration’s efforts to force a sale of ByteDance’s TikTok,” he added.

Pence ran his own primary race and participated in the first candidate debates. He quickly realized, however, that he did not have the support of the rank-and-file of the Republican Party and threw in the towel at the first opportunity, in October, long before the Iowa caucuses.

In June 2023, when launching his campaign, he attacked Trump for his refusal to recognize the election result, calling January 6 “a tragic day in the life of our nation.” Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol did so with “Hang Mike Pence” as a rallying cry, egged on by the then-president himself.

The break since then has been total. At that first campaign event in June 2023, Pence expanded on the topic: “The American people deserve to know that on that fateful day, President Trump also demanded that I choose between him and our Constitution. Now voters will face the same choice. I chose the Constitution and I always will,” he said. “I believe anyone that puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president of the United States again.”

Trump’s main rival in the primaries, Nikki Haley, also did not ask her followers to vote for Trump when she withdrew from the race. Instead, she said Trump had to earn it and that she did not feel bound by a commitment she signed before the leadership of the Republican Party changed, in which the former president has placed his loyalists, including his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, at the helm. Most other Republican candidates, including Ron DeSantis, have endorsed Trump. Some of them, like Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott and Doug Burgum, even seem to be trying to make a case for whether they can join Trump on the ballot as vice presidential candidates.

Trump has mathematically secured the nomination this week by reaching more than half of the delegates who will nominate the candidate at the July convention in Milwaukee. But even after retiring, Haley still garnered 13% of the vote in the Georgia Republican primary. The rejection by a good part of independent voters and a segment of Republicans is one of the former president’s challenges before the November 5 elections.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *