Pence drops out of US presidential race

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Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waves with his wife Karen as he leaves the stage after announcing he is withdrawing from the presidential campaign, during the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 28, 2023. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Former Vice President Mike Pence announced the suspension of his 2024 presidential campaign on the weekend, citing financial constraints within his campaign and a shift in the Republican Party’s direction diverging from his long-standing conservative stance in Indiana.

In an unexpected announcement at a convention in Las Vegas, Pence declared, ” I came here to say it’s become clear to me this is not my time. So, after much deliberation I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today.” He expressed no regrets and explained that attempting and falling short was preferable to never trying at all.

Sources within Pence’s campaign indicated surprise at the announcement, suggesting that he might not endorse any other primary candidates. Even the event organisers were taken aback by the sudden decision, as no one expected this twist of events.  Following the announcement, various Republican candidates praised Pence for his faith and service, while former President Donald Trump took a different approach, suggesting that Pence should endorse him due to the success of their joint presidency.

Pence had been facing challenges gaining traction in a competitive primary field largely dominated by Trump, especially after their divergence over certifying the 2020 election results. Pence had begun distinguishing himself from Trump on various issues on the campaign trail. Despite advocating for positions differing from Trump and the current Republican primary candidates, Pence’s campaign struggled to attract sufficient support, leading to financial difficulties, with a significant debt and limited cash on hand. His failure to meet the required number of individual donors for the third Republican primary debate further affected his campaign.

Acknowledging the evolving landscape of the Republican Party, Pence noted that his traditional conservative positions were increasingly at odds with the current field, signalling a broader debate within the party about its future direction.

Before his tenure as Vice President in 2016, Pence served as the governor of Indiana and represented his hometown district in Congress for 12 years.

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