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Tags: mike pence | presidential | primary | campaign | gop

Pence Suspending Presidential Campaign: 'This Is Not My Time'

Saturday, 28 October 2023 03:45 PM EDT

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday he was suspending his campaign for the Republican party nomination.

"To the American people I say: This is not my time," Pence, whose campaign never took off, told attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition's conference in Las Vegas.

Pence, 64, publicly broke with Trump, lambasting the former president for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, events at the U.S. Capitol. Pence gambled that Republican primary voters would reward him for following the U.S. Constitution rather than obeying Trump, who wanted him to overturn the 2020 election results.

But Trump's base of core supporters never forgave Pence for overseeing the certification of Democrat Joe Biden's election. They viewed Pence's actions in his ceremonial role as president of the U.S. Senate as a supreme act of disloyalty to Trump, who has become the runaway front-runner in the Republican nominating race.

Trump has built one of the biggest primary opinion poll leads in U.S. electoral history.

Pence stopped short of endorsing anyone in his speech on Saturday, but in an apparent swipe at Trump, called on Americans to select someone who appeals to "the better angels of our nature" and can lead with "civility."

Pence failed to attract enough anti-Trump Republican primary voters and donors to sustain a candidacy that has languished in the low single digits in opinion polls and struggled to raise money since he announced his White House bid in June.

As a result, Pence was low on cash by October. And despite spending time and resources in the first Republican nominating state of Iowa, he had failed to catch fire there.

When his campaign released Pence's third quarter fundraising totals on Oct. 15, his candidacy was $620,000 in debt and had only $1.2 million cash on hand, far less than several better-performing Republican rivals and insufficient to sustain the financial demands of a White House race.

In several past elections, former vice presidents who have competed to become the White House nominee have succeeded, including Republican George H.W. Bush in 1988 and Democrat Al Gore in 2000.

This year, Pence was up against the political juggernaut that is Trump, along with other rivals who appealed more to anti-Trump primary voters and donors, including former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Pence ran as a traditional social and fiscal conservative and a foreign policy hawk, calling for increased military aid to Ukraine and cuts in welfare entitlement spending. But that brand of Republicanism has been eclipsed in the Trump-era by full-throated populism and "America First" isolationism.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday he was suspending his campaign for the Republican party nomination.
mike pence, presidential, primary, campaign, gop
Saturday, 28 October 2023 03:45 PM
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