On Monday, former Vicd President Mike Pence filed paperwork declaring his campaign for the presidency in 2024, setting up a challenge to his former boss, Donald Trump, only two years after their time in the White House ended with an the tumultuous incident at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Pence, who served as the nation’s 48th vice president, is set to formally launch his bid for the GOP nomination with a kickoff event and video on Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa, his 64th birthday. He made his candidacy intentions official Monday by filing with the Federal Election Commission.
While former President Trump is currently leading the early polls for the nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is consistently polling in second; however, Pence supporters see a possible lane for a reliable conservative who supports many of the previous administration’s policies but without the constant turmoil.
The former vice president is a staunch opponent of abortion rights and supports a national ban on the procedure. He has also campaigned against transgender-affirming policies in schools. Pence has argued changes to Medicare and Social Security, including raising the age for qualification, should continue to be on the table to keep the programs financially sound — which both DeSantis and Trump have expressed opposition to — and criticized DeSantis for ramping up his feud with Disney. He has also said the United States should offer additional support to Ukraine against Russian aggression while admonishing the party’s “Putin apologists” who have been unwilling to stand up to the Russian leader.
The former vice president has spent the last two and a half years since leaving office strategically distancing himself from former President Trump. However, he continues to face skepticism from both anti-Trump voters who see him as too close to the former president in addition to Trump loyalists, many of whom continue to blame him for not heeding Trump’s demands to overturn the election.
Vice President Pence joins a crowded GOP field that includes DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, Trump, and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie plans to announce his campaign Tuesday evening in New Hampshire, with North Dakota Governor Dough Burgum announcing his bid on Wednesday in Fargo.
Following January 6 incident, Pence said Trump “endangered my family”
After the January 6 incident at the Capitol, Pence said Trump “endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day,” and that history will hold him accountable.
Despite the experience, Pence has opposed efforts to make him testify during investigations into President Trump’s actions in the lead-up to January 6. He refused to appear in front of the House committee investigating the attack. Additionally, he fought to subpoena issued by the special counsel overseeing several Trump probes, although he eventually testified before a grand jury.
Only six former U.S. vice presidents have been elected to the White House, including Joe Biden, who is currently running for a second term.