Mike Pence Declines to Endorse Trump, Citing Conscience

Mike Pence articulates stark differences with Donald Trump's policies.

by Nouman Rasool
Mike Pence Declines to Endorse Trump, Citing Conscience
© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence, on a recent Friday appearance on Fox News, openly declared his reluctance to support Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for the upcoming presidential race. This announcement marks a notable rift between Pence and Trump, the latter of whom he served alongside as Vice President.

Pence's refusal to endorse Trump underscores a deep ideological divide, particularly highlighting discrepancies in their conservative agendas. "Reflecting on our tenure, it's clear that Donald Trump's current policy pursuits diverge significantly from the conservative principles we championed," Pence stated, emphasizing the discord in their visions.

This divergence has led him to withhold his endorsement for Trump in the forthcoming campaign, despite previously indicating he would support the GOP's chosen candidate. Pence, who concluded his own presidential campaign last October, has been a figure of loyalty and support within the Trump administration.

However, Trump's expectation of an endorsement following Pence's withdrawal from the presidential race—a move Trump deemed a betrayal—highlights the often-fickle nature of political alliances.

Pence's Principled Stand

Pence voiced his pride in the achievements of their administration but criticized Trump for straying from core conservative issues, such as abortion rights, the national debt, and policies towards China, including the handling of TikTok's ownership.

"My campaign laid bare our fundamental differences, extending beyond our distinct views on the Constitution's interpretation on January 6th," Pence commented during his interview with Martha MacCallum on "The Story." Despite these criticisms, Pence remains undecided about his choice in the 2024 general election, choosing to keep his vote private, yet firmly ruling out support for President Joe Biden or any third-party candidates.

This stance follows Pence's controversial refusal to overturn the 2020 election results, a decision that distanced him from Trump and exposed him to criticism and danger during the January 6th Capitol riot, an event Pence attributes to Trump's "reckless words." In distancing himself from Trump's "populism," Pence and his organization, Advancing American Freedom, are investing $20 million in promoting conservative policies, signaling his continued commitment to the conservative cause despite the fracturing of his relationship with Trump.

This move not only underscores the ideological schism within the Republican Party but also highlights Pence's attempt to redefine his political legacy in the post-Trump era.

Donald Trump