Mike Pence’s Refusal to Endorse Trump Ignites MAGA Rage

Former Vice President Mike Pence has inspired MAGA rage after announcing that he will not be endorsing former President Donald Trump, the presumptive 2024 GOP nominee for president, in November’s election.

Pence, who bowed out of his own campaign for president in October after failing to gain significant Republican support, said during a Fox News interview on Friday that he was “proud” of his record with Trump but “it should come as no surprise” that he would not be backing his former running mate this year.

“It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,” Pence said. “During my presidential campaign, I made it clear that there were profound differences between me and President Trump on a range of issues.”

“Donald Trump is pursuing and articulating an agenda that is at odds with the conservative agenda that we governed on during our four years,” he continued. “And that’s why I cannot in good conscience endorse Donald Trump in this campaign.”

Mike Pence Not Endorsing Donald Trump MAGA
Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence are pictured together at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 24, 2020. Pence announced that he would not be endorsing Trump…


DAVID T. FOSTER III/AFP

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office via email on Friday for comment.

Supporters of Trump’s MAGA movement quickly reacted to Pence’s remarks on social media with disapproval and anger, despite the former president and Pence having had an increasingly adversarial relationship since 2021.

“Mike Pence couldn’t even make it to Iowa as a former Vice-President,” twice-failed former Republican congressional candidate David Giglio wrote in a post to X, formerly Twitter. “He’s completely irrelevant. Trump 2024 and beyond!”

“Zzzzz,” posted American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp.

“Mike Pence is a traitor to the Republican Party, MAGA and President Trump!” MAGA media personality Leo Terrell posted.

“RINO scumbag Mike Pence says he will not be endorsing Trump in the 2024 election,” posted @_johnnymaga.

Others offered praise for Pence or had decidedly different reactions to the non-endorsement.

“Mike Pence has more integrity than most everyone else in the Republican Party,” @Shabooyah4 posted.

“This actually does come as a surprise,” posted Justin Kanew, the founder of left-wing news outlet The Tennessee Holler. “It was genuinely unclear if being almost hung was a dealbreaker”.

“Brave move for Pence: withholding an endorsement of a guy who almost got him killed,” progressive journalist David Corn posted.

“Wow. Pence refuses to endorse Trump,” posted @SwissWatchGuy. “Way to go GOP, you chose to nominate a man who already lost to Biden as an incumbent in a landslide and was so repulsive his own VP won’t endorse him. Super smart.”

Pence has been at odds with Trump since shortly after losing the 2020 election, with the former president repeatedly denouncing his former VP for failing to grant his impossible demand of overturning President Joe Biden‘s win during the January 6, 2021, joint session of Congress that certified the result.

While Pence was presiding over Congress, a mob of angry Trump supporters launched the ill-fated Capitol attack Capitol while chanting “Hang Mike Pence“—a chant that former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson later claimed that Trump repeated.

The relationship between the two men has only deteriorated since then, although Trump expressed his wishes for Pence to endorse him after he dropped out of the presidential race last year, warning during a rally in Las Vegas that he would consider the former vice president to be “very disloyal” if he did not.

“Everybody that leaves seems to be endorsing me,” Trump said at the time. “I don’t know about Mike Pence; he should endorse me. He should endorse me, you know why? Because I had a great successful presidency, and he was the vice president. He should endorse me.”

Update 03/15/24 5:11 p.m. ET: This article was updated with additional information.