Former Vice President Mike Pence unexpectedly suspended his White House campaign, ending a bid that failed to catch fire with Republican voters.
Pence made his announcement during his remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, bowing out gracefully before he had to suffer the humiliation of not making the cut for the third GOP presidential primary debate next month.
“Traveling across the country over the past six months, I came here to say it’s become clear to me: this is not my time,” the ex-veep told the stunned crowd. “So, after much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president, effective today.”
“Now, I’m leaving this campaign but let me promise you, I will never leave the fight for conservative values, and I will never stop fighting to elect principled Republican leaders to every office in the land,” he said. “So help me God.”
“You know, we always knew this would be an uphill battle, but I have no regrets. The only thing that would have been harder than coming up short would have been if we’d never tried at all,” Pence told the crowd.
By dropping out of the running, the former Indiana governor is merely acknowledging the obvious which is that his acrimonious split with his one-time boss, former President Donald J. Trump was a deal-killer for much of the party’s base, especially the differences between the two Republicans over the 2020 election and the so-called “insurrection” on January 6, 2021.
Pence struggled mightily in an overly crowded field vying for pole position behind Trump and the writing was probably on the wall with reports last week that the candidate was drawing crowds in the key early-voting state of Iowa that were so meager as to be an embarrassment, with just over a dozen showing up to hear him at a Pizza Ranch restaurant in Red Oak.
Mike Pence had 13 people show up for his “rally”!
— Linda Marie Lovison (@lilo623) October 22, 2023
In many ways, Pence was his own worst enemy, refusing to moderate his rhetoric regarding Trump and also lashing out at other candidates who have dared to suggest that it’s in the nation’s best interest to put America first.
This is what happens when we have leading voices like Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis signaling retreat from America’s role as leader of the free world. When I’m President of the United States, we’ll lead from American Strength. pic.twitter.com/gW3HaN4fIp
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) October 8, 2023
Despite being all but being blamed for Hamas terrorists’ slaughter of Israeli civilians, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis praised the former vice president after he ran up the white flag.
“Vice President Mike Pence is a principled man of faith who has worked tirelessly to advance the conservative cause. Casey and I appreciate Mike and Karen for their willingness to put themselves forward in this campaign and wish the Pence family well in their next steps,” DeSantis posted to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Vice President Mike Pence is a principled man of faith who has worked tirelessly to advance the conservative cause. Casey and I appreciate Mike and Karen for their willingness to put themselves forward in this campaign and wish the Pence family well in their next steps.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) October 28, 2023
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also sang the praises of his fellow Trump hater.
“I am beyond grateful for everything Vice President @Mike_Pence has done for this country. He has consistently fought for American values from his time in Congress to his governorship and serving the American people as Vice President,” the blustering candidate said. “Mike Pence stood for the constitution of the United States. He deserves our thanks as Americans for putting his oath of office and the Constitution of the United States before personal and political pressures.”
I am beyond grateful for everything Vice President @Mike_Pence has done for this country. He has consistently fought for American values from his time in Congress to his governorship and serving the American people as Vice President.
Mike Pence stood for the constitution of the… pic.twitter.com/k2ZkkTgc6C
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) October 28, 2023
Former South Carolina governor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who like Christie is more loved by the media than GOP voters, also gushed over Pence who she served with during the Trump administration.
“I want to first say just a special point to Vice President @Mike_Pence. He has been a good man of faith. He has been a good man of service. He has fought for America, and he has fought for Israel, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude.”
— Team Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaleyHQ) October 28, 2023
But far more weren’t so kind in giving Pence a send-off.
Pence is out.
I always thought that the main purpose of Pence being in the race was that his financial backers were willing to pay to see Pence vs. President Trump on the debate stage.
President Trump avoided the trap and Pence’s funding dried up.
Imagine that. https://t.co/zu8hskyP1S
— Brick Suit (@Brick_Suit) October 28, 2023
How much money did Mike Pence steal from his doners running for an office that he knew he had 0% chance of winning, but did it anyway simply to trash President Trump on CNN?
— Vince Langman (@LangmanVince) October 28, 2023
Mike Pence is done. Good riddance. I’ll give him credit for at least comprehending basic reality.
— Styxhexenhammer666 (@Styx666Official) October 28, 2023
Our long national nightmare is finally over. https://t.co/uVvqJeP647
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) October 28, 2023
So, Mike Pence is out of the race for President.
He didn’t catch on for one reason.
When called on to make a crucial decision about 2020, Pence choked.
We’ve all been paying the price for his decision for the last 3 years.
— Daniel F. Baranowski (@DFBHarvard) October 28, 2023
All these messages saying what a great man Mike Pence is are just ridiculous.
He gave us Biden. Fuck Pence.
— Joey Mannarino (@JoeyMannarinoUS) October 28, 2023
It took Mike Pence six months of listening to people across America scream “traitor!” at him to his face to figure out that his political career is over.
That’s a special kind of stupid. https://t.co/Ex7COpUsZY
— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) October 28, 2023
The frontrunner’s take on his former vice president was vintage Trump.
“You know, people are leaving now, and they’re all endorsing me,” he said. “I don’t know about Mike Pence.”
“He should endorse me, you know why? Because I had a great successful presidency and he was the vice president,” Trump added. “He should enforce me. I chose him, made him vice president. But people in politics can be very disloyal. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
President Trump on Mike Pence: “He should endorse me…because I had a great, successful presidency” pic.twitter.com/fnpH05ZId5
— RSBN (@RSBNetwork) October 29, 2023
GOP candidates not named Trump will now compete for the coveted Pence endorsement as the former candidate will likely be a highly sought-after guest on CNN and other networks, much like former Attorney General Bill Barr who also stabbed Trump in the back.
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