Mike Pence may run against Trump in 2024
The former Vice President under Donald Trump has indicated he would be willing to take on Trump if he decides to run for the presidency in 2024.
Former Vice President Mike Pence has not formally stated his intention to run for president in 2024, but he has taken many actions that indicate he is prepared to compete for the Republican nomination against former President Donald Trump if he does.
Since they both departed office in 2021, the former president's running mate and second in command has taken many efforts to distance himself from Trump, including rebuking Trump's earlier this year stated that he had the capacity to reverse the 2020 presidential election results.
During a speech in February, Pence declared that "President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election," adding that "The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. Frankly there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president."
Pence has made many significant steps in recent months that have raised his political stature and established him as a vital contrast to Trump. This includes his April visit to the Heather Heyer monument in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she was killed in a white supremacist attack, for which Trump famously blamed "both sides."
And this week, Pence will assist at a rally for Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, whom Trump has called a "RINO" (Republican in name only).
Politico described his assistance as the "most aggressive political move yet in defiance of his former patron and ticket-mate."
Pence declined to rule out a 2024 presidential candidacy in a March interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo.
"I'm confident the Republican Party will nominate a candidate who will be the next president of the United States of America and at the right time, my family and I will reflect and consider how we might participate in that process," Pence said.
Trump has not confirmed whether he will run again, but did say at a rally in Georgia in March that "we just may have to do it again."
"The truth is I ran twice, I won twice and I did much better the second time. And now we just may have to do it again," he told those in attendance.
Criticizing Pence's recent moves, Taylor Budowich, Trump's spokesperson, told The New York Times that "Mike Pence was set to lose a governor's race in 2016 before he was plucked up and his political career was salvaged," adding that "Pence is parachuting into races, hoping someone is paying attention. The reality is, President Trump is already 82-3 with his endorsements, and there's nothing stopping him from saving America in 2022 and beyond."
Even if Pence is planning a presidential run against Trump in 2024, his prospects of defeating the former president are limited. According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris survey conducted in late January of this year, Trump garnered 57% of GOP support, while Pence received 11%.