Former Vice President Mike Pence entered the 2024 GOP Presidential Primary as a direct challenge to Donald Trump.
Pence centered his message around attacking Trump for supposedly being unfit for office.
And now Mike Pence made a 2024 announcement that left Donald Trump jumping for joy.
Mike Pence took the stage at the Republican Jewish Coalition Gala in Las Vegas and announced he was suspending his Presidential campaign and dropping out of the race.
“After much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for President effective today,” Pence told the crowd.
Like all failing candidates, Pence couched his decision to quit as a mere blip in a longer fight to push his vision.
“I’m leaving this campaign, but let me promise you, I will never leave the fight for conservative values and I will never stop fighting to elect principled Republican leaders to every office in the land. So help me God,” Pence added.
But Pence dropped out for one single reason.
The money ran out, and Pence was on the verge of suffering the humiliation of failing to reach the qualifying threshold of 70,000 unique donors to participate in the third GOP Presidential debate.
“There just weren’t enough donors,” a Pence advisor told CNN.
The idea that a sitting Vice President found no purchase among either grassroots conservatives or establishment donors is a stunning development and shows just how much dominance Donald Trump exerts over the Republican Party.
Pence’s message to Republicans that Trump’s behavior on January 6 and support for ending the war in Ukraine ran afoul of traditional conservative orthodoxy and fell flat.
The Real Clear Politics polling average showed Pence at 3.5 percent nationally.
Pence bet his campaign on Iowa, figuring his long-standing relationship with evangelical conservatives would allow him to break out in the Iowa Caucuses.
But Trump appointing the Justices who overturned Roe v. Wade gave him all the credibility he needed with Christian conservatives, as Real Clear Politics finds Trump at 50 percent and Pence at 3.5 percent.
Pence ran as the avatar for the Bush-era establishment Republicanism that supported a Liz Cheney-style foreign policy that promised to stand with Ukraine no matter the cost.
Donald Trump ran on ending the war in Ukraine.
Republican voters believe in Trump’s vision for the Party, and just like relics of the pre-2016 era – John McCain, Mitt Romney, Jeff Flake, and Liz Cheney – Pence found himself out of step with the current GOP.
And Pence decided to bow out gracefully on his own terms before suffering the indignity of having to admit that he couldn’t build enough support among Republican voters to qualify for the November debate.