On June 7, the 48th Vice President Mike Pence officially launched his Presidential campaign in Des Moines, Iowa on his 64th birthday making him the first VP in modern history to run against his former mate, Donald Trump. Pence filed his paperwork to run as a candidate on June 5 against the former President.
For the 2024 Presidential elections, Pence is staking his hopes on Iowa, which will cast the first votes for his nomination calendar, which is a key pathway to his nomination from the Republican party. The target voters are also a large portion of Christians in the state. Pence is expected to hold a good place in the mid-western states since he served in the Congress for a decade and then represented Indiana as a governor. Even though Iowa is seen as a typical determination of the Presidential elections or the money it brings in for the candidates, previously in some cases including Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, it has proved otherwise.
Pence stands against a strong set of candidates, former President Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Healy, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Pence, if he wins, would aim to bring back several long-time establishments of the Republican party that were reshaped under Trump. Pence has always opposed the growing populist tide, has been against abortion rights, and has campaigned against transgender-affirming policies, marking himself as a staunch conservative in the party. He, further, has campaigned through several churches describing himself as a “Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,”
When Donald Trump became the President in 2017, Pence served the term as his Vice President and was his most loyal advocate. Pence on various occasions has admired the ‘Trump-Pence’ administration. However, things changed post-Jan. 6, 2021, the day when the Congress would hold a joint session to certify Joe Biden’s victory. Trump was quashed by his own defeat and falsely tried to make Pence and his supporters believe that Pence had overturned the 2020 election results. Following this, when the mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the Capitol building, they chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” bringing a threat to him and his family. Pence said that history holds Trump accountable because he “endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day,”
Keeping the event in mind, Pence has called Trump’s actions to be dangerous and has stated that the country would need a new leadership in the 2024 elections. But a lot of Trump’s voters still blame him for not submitting to Trump’s demand of overturning the results. However, Pence’s role during the election was to oversee the counting of the Electoral College and he never could make an impact on the end results. On the other hand, many anti-Trump voters also think he is on closer terms to the former President, despite Pence keeping from him post the Capitol incident.
Previously, only six former Vice Presidents have been elected to the White House, including Biden who is running again for his second term in 2024. Pence is now a new challenge for Trump apart from his ongoing fight against DeSantis where Trump is currently leading from their home state.
Image Credit: Reuters
Edited by: Nandini Roy
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