GOP Candidates React to Suspension of Pence Campaign
Former Vice President Mike Pence has officially bowed out of the race to the White House, becoming the first major candidate of the 2024 GOP Primary to suspend their campaign. Pence made his surprise announcement on Saturday while speaking at The Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, ending the flailing campaign after months of polling in the single digits.
His former opponents in the GOP primary offered mixed reactions to the announcement, with some commending the former Vice President for his public service and others taking the opportunity to sneak in one last jab.
“People are leaving now, and they’re all endorsing me,” GOP frontrunner Donald Trump said in Las Vegas on Saturday.
“I don’t know about Mike Pence. He should endorse me. You know why? Because I had a great, successful presidency and he was the vice president.”
Pence had served as Trump’s running mate in the 2016 and 2020 elections, but after breaking rank with the former President this year, the pair’s relationship turned. “People in politics can be very disloyal,” Trump added.
Political newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy also responded promptly to Pence’s announcement, calling the end of his campaign a “service to the American people.” He said the former Vice President decided that “certain others in this race should also consider.”
TRUMP ON PENCE: “He should endorse me…because I had a great, successful presidency”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 29, 2023
The rest of the GOP field offered kind words of farewell to Pence, thanking him for his service to America and commending his principles.
“Vice President Mike Pence is a principled man of faith who has worked tirelessly to advance the conservative cause,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in a statement posted to X.
“Casey and I appreciate Mike and Karen for their willingness to put themselves forward in this campaign and wish the Pence family well in their next steps.”
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley offered similar remarks during the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference on Saturday.
“He’s been a good man of service,” she said. “He has fought for America, and he has fought for Israel. And we all owe him a debt of gratitude.”
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also congratulated Pence,
“Mike Pence stood for the constitution of the United States. He deserves our thanks as Americans for putting his oath of office and the Constitution of the United States before personal and political pressure. Thank you for your service.”
Senator Tim Scott, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum also thanked Pence in public posts.
Vice President Mike Pence is a principled man of faith who has worked tirelessly to advance the conservative cause. Casey and I appreciate Mike and Karen for their willingness to put themselves forward in this campaign and wish the Pence family well in their next steps.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) October 28, 2023
On Saturday, Pence spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference, shocking the audience with his announcement.
“Traveling over the country over the past six months, I came here to say it’s become clear to me: This is not my time. So after much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today,”
In his parting words, Pence urged his fellow Presidential contenders to lead with “civility,”
“I urge all my fellow Republicans here, give our country a Republican standard bearer that will, as Lincoln said, appeal to the better angels of our nature,”
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