Mike Pence says he can’t endorse Donald Trump for president

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Former Vice President Mike Pence, who ran alongside Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, said Friday he could not endorse the former president’s 2024 bid to return to the White House. 

Pence, who lives in Carmel, said in a Fox News appearance he could not “in good conscience” support Trump’s 2024 campaign. He pointed to “profound differences” between him and Trump on issues the Hoosier said he tried to make clear during his own run for president. Pence sought to be Republicans’ 2024 presidential nominee but suspended his campaign in late 2023 after failing to gain traction. 

Among those differences, Pence criticized Trump’s recent opposition to the bill in Congress attempting to force a sale of social media app TikTok. He also suggested Trump has “walked away” from efforts to lower the national debt. 

“In each of these cases, Donald Trump is pursuing and articulating an agenda that is at odds with the conservative agenda we governed on during our four years,” Pence said. 

Pence said he is proud of the “conservative record” their administration built in office, but that his inability to endorse Trump should “come as no surprise.” 

The former Indiana governor lost favor among Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, when Pence refused to carry out Trump’s wishes to block certification of the 2020 election results. In Indianapolis last year, Pence was booed as he walked on stage to give remarks at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention. 

The distrust of Pence among Trump supporters makes it unlikely the nonendorsement will have much impact on the former president’s campaign. Trump and President Joe Biden each secured enough delegates this week to become their party’s presumptive nominee for president. 

A recent poll from Emerson College Polling and The Hill showed that Trump holds significant favor among registered Hoosier voters with 55% of those surveyed indicating support for Trump, 34% for Biden and 12% undecided.

Contact IndyStar’s state government and politics reporter Brittany Carloni at brittany.carloni@indystar.com or 317-779-4468. Follow her on Twitter/X @CarloniBrittany.



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