(RepublicanDaily.org) – Just a couple of years ago, Donald Trump and Mike Pence were the top team in US politics. Their relationship fell apart in the aftermath of the 2020 election, though, and now they’re rivals. Pence is slowly and patiently putting together a launch pad for a 2024 presidential campaign, but he has a big problem — Trump.
Mike Pence: "I would hope the [DOJ] would not bring charges against the former President…I think the President's actions and words on Jan. 6 were reckless, but I don't know that it's criminal to take bad advice from lawyers." pic.twitter.com/U8l4v3zfOQ
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) December 19, 2022
In many ways, Mike Pence was the perfect vice president for Trump. Calm and sober, he balanced the former president’s impulsive, populist touch and bridged the gap between traditional Republicans and the president’s MAGA movement. The balance lasted four years, but it finally fell apart as Trump disputed the 2020 election results. Pence refused to back him, and it was enough to turn teamwork to competitiveness. Now, the rivalry is focusing on 2024, with Pence saying last month he’s considering a run for the presidency.
Unfortunately for Pence, Trump has already announced his 2024 run, and he’s likely to pull in a lot more support, especially from the MAGA wing of the GOP. In fact, that’s the heart of Pence’s problem. To have any chance of winning, he needs to draw in support from both pro-Trump and anti-Trump Republicans, and neither group likes him very much.
Trump supporters are angry that he recognized the 2020 election result; never-Trumpers are resentful that he supported his president so well for so long and, despite their falling out, is still defending him against the January 6 Committee. Mike Pence is a man who really believes he’s in politics to do good, but challenging Trump in 2024 could likely end his political career.
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