Pence's Exit: A Turning Point in GOP's Presidential Race
NEW YORK — Former Vice President Mike Pence announced the suspension of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday. Pence cited fundraising difficulties and a lack of traction in the polls for his decision.
Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual gathering in Las Vegas, Pence stated, "It's become clear to me: This is not my time." He received multiple standing ovations from the audience but acknowledged the uphill battle he faced.
Pence's withdrawal from the race is significant, making him the first major candidate to exit a field dominated by his former boss, Donald Trump. Despite his position as a former vice president, Pence struggled to garner support.
He used the platform to voice his concerns about isolationist and populist trends within the Republican Party. Pence's early exit spares him from accumulating more campaign debt and potentially failing to qualify for a primary debate in Miami.
The decision marks a turning point for a politician who spent years as Trump's loyal vice president but was scapegoated for not overturning the 2020 election results. Pence was viewed negatively by a majority of U.S. adults, as per an August poll.
Despite an aggressive campaign schedule in Iowa, Pence couldn't gain the desired momentum. His fundraising efforts also fell short, leaving him with limited resources. Pence is expected to stay engaged in politics through his think tank, Advancing American Freedom, and a forthcoming book. He did not endorse any rivals upon exiting the race. Trump, who spoke after Pence's announcement, expressed disappointment at Pence's decision. Pence urged fellow Republicans to find a standard-bearer who appeals to "the better angels of our nature."
Pence's departure may signal a shift within the Republican Party as it seeks alternatives to Trump's dominance in the 2024 nomination race.