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Mike Pence Abandons Presidential Aspirations Citing Inadequate Support: ‘The Moment Is Not Right for Me’

by Sophia Chen
10 comments
Mike Pence Withdraws From 2024 Presidential Race

On Saturday, former Vice President Mike Pence officially withdrew from the race for the Republican presidential nomination, citing insufficient fundraising and lackluster polling numbers as decisive factors.

“The realization has dawned upon me that the current political landscape is not conducive for my candidacy,” Pence announced at the yearly meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition held in Las Vegas. “After deep reflection and prayer, I am formally terminating my presidential campaign as of today.”

Acknowledging the obstacles, Pence assured his audience, who responded with both shock and applause, “This journey was always going to be arduous, but I depart without regret.”

Pence’s withdrawal has highlighted the powerful influence of his previous superior and current competitor, Donald Trump, on the Republican Party. Normally, a former vice president would be a strong contender in any party primary. However, Pence faced enormous challenges in galvanizing party support.

While he refrained from officially endorsing any of his competitors, Pence reiterated the need for a Republican leader who would personify the nobler virtues of the party. “I call upon my fellow Republicans to champion a candidate who will evoke the higher principles of our great nation and lead not merely to electoral victory but also in governance with decorum,” Pence commented.

Withdrawing over two months ahead of the pivotal Iowa caucuses saved Pence from accruing further debt and the potential humiliation of not making the cut for the third Republican primary debate scheduled for November 8 in Miami.

This marks a significant setback for Pence, who had long served as a steadfast supporter to Trump, only to face blame during their final days in office over the 2020 election. Pence, despite lacking the legal authority, had been accused by Trump of not doing enough to overturn the election results.

Pence found himself in an unenviable position, drawing ire from Trump supporters who felt betrayed by him, and skepticism from Trump critics who viewed him as an enabler. An August survey conducted by Big Big News-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that 57% of U.S. adults held a negative view of Pence, with only 28% expressing a positive outlook.

Throughout his campaign, Pence endeavored to redefine his public image by embarking on a rigorous itinerary that included frequent appearances at diners and Pizza Ranch establishments. Focusing on Iowa, Pence hoped to capitalize on its significant white Evangelical demographic, emphasizing his conservative stances on issues like abortion.

Financially, his campaign had been lagging. As of the end of September, Pence had only $1.18 million in campaign funds and was $621,000 in debt, as revealed in his most recent financial disclosures.

Sources close to Pence had signaled earlier this month, as initially reported by Big Big News, that his continued participation in the race might adversely affect his long-term influence within the party, especially considering Trump’s formidable lead in the polls.

Although foreign policy had become a more prominent issue, following a recent attack by Hamas on Israel, Pence believed he could still advocate for his stances without continuing his campaign. His decision to make the announcement in Las Vegas was partly to address these foreign policy issues one last time before officially exiting the race.

Pence is expected to remain active in political discourse, primarily through Advancing American Freedom, his conservative think tank established post-vice presidency. The organization aims to further the policy objectives that were central to his aborted campaign, including bolstering U.S. support for Ukraine against Russian aggression and advocating fiscal restraint in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare—stances once considered staples of the Republican establishment but now increasingly at odds with the party’s current populist orientation.

Contributions to this report were made by Big Big News writer Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mike Pence Withdraws from 2024 Presidential Race

Why did Mike Pence withdraw from the 2024 Presidential race?

Mike Pence announced his withdrawal citing insufficient fundraising and lackluster polling numbers. He felt that the current political landscape was not conducive to his candidacy.

Where did Mike Pence make the withdrawal announcement?

He made the announcement at the annual meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition held in Las Vegas.

Did Mike Pence endorse any of his Republican rivals after his withdrawal?

No, Mike Pence did not officially endorse any of his rivals. However, he called upon Republicans to champion a candidate who would evoke the higher principles of the nation.

What was the reaction of the audience during his announcement?

The audience at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual gathering reacted with audible surprise and gave him multiple standing ovations.

How has Donald Trump’s influence been highlighted by Pence’s withdrawal?

Pence’s struggles to gain traction and support within the Republican Party underscore how much Donald Trump has transformed and currently dominates the party.

What will Mike Pence focus on after his withdrawal?

He is expected to remain politically active, primarily through his conservative think tank, Advancing American Freedom, which will focus on policy issues like U.S. support for Ukraine and fiscal restraint in entitlement programs.

What were some financial struggles that Pence’s campaign faced?

As of the end of September, Pence had only $1.18 million in campaign funds and was $621,000 in debt. This financial strain contributed to his decision to withdraw.

How did public opinion shape Pence’s candidacy?

An August survey by Big Big News-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that 57% of U.S. adults held a negative view of Pence, while only 28% had a positive outlook.

Did foreign policy play a role in his campaign?

Yes, foreign policy became more prominent following a recent attack by Hamas on Israel. Pence believed he could advocate for foreign policy stances without continuing his campaign.

What are some policy objectives that Advancing American Freedom will focus on?

The think tank aims to further policy objectives that were central to Pence’s campaign, including bolstering U.S. support for Ukraine against Russian aggression and advocating for fiscal restraint in Social Security and Medicare.

More about Mike Pence Withdraws from 2024 Presidential Race

  • Mike Pence Officially Announces Withdrawal
  • Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Meeting
  • Donald Trump’s Influence in the Republican Party
  • Big Big News-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research August Poll
  • Advancing American Freedom Official Website
  • Republican Primary Debate Schedule
  • 2024 Republican Presidential Candidates
  • Financial Disclosures of 2024 Presidential Candidates
  • Foreign Policy and the 2024 Presidential Election

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10 comments

Tom A October 28, 2023 - 10:16 pm

Huh, so he used his withdrawal speech to take a jab at Trump. Guess he’s still got some fight left in him.

Reply
Rachel W October 28, 2023 - 11:35 pm

The GOP’s in shambles and this just proves it. Good riddance, but who’s next?

Reply
Ben M October 29, 2023 - 5:12 am

Advancing American Freedom? lol, let’s see how far that goes. Wasn’t he just a Trump puppet for four years?

Reply
Laura S October 29, 2023 - 8:18 am

I wonder what this means for the other candidates? is it gonna be easier or harder for them now that pence is out of the race?

Reply
Gary L October 29, 2023 - 11:50 am

Seriously guys, why are we even surprised? With Trump in the mix, anyone else barely stands a chance.

Reply
James T October 29, 2023 - 1:32 pm

Wow, didn’t see that coming. Pence dropping out this early? Trump’s really got the GOP in his grip.

Reply
Sarah K October 29, 2023 - 3:42 pm

pence had it coming tbh. You can’t play both sides and expect people to rally behind you.

Reply
Michael F October 29, 2023 - 4:22 pm

I’m not a fan of Pence, but at least he has the guts to step down instead of wasting more money and time. That’s something, right?

Reply
Lisa G October 29, 2023 - 6:17 pm

It’s high time Republicans got their act together. Otherwise, we’re handing the election to the Dems on a silver platter.

Reply
Nina P October 29, 2023 - 7:38 pm

Kinda ironic that Pence is stepping down to ‘avoid accumulating more debt.’ Wasn’t he part of the admin that ballooned the national debt?

Reply

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