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Republican Mike Pence drops out of US presidential race

Former US vice president Mike Pence drops out of the 2024 presidential race, highlighting Trump's dominance in the Republican Party.

Former US vice president Mike Pence made a surprising announcement on Saturday, revealing that he was dropping out of the 2024 presidential race. Pence, who had been embroiled in scandals during his time as vice president under Donald Trump, emphasized that it was not "his time" to run for president. The timing of his decision caught many off guard.

Pence's announcement came during his speech at the annual meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas. While he received a warm reception from the audience, he shocked everyone by revealing that he was suspending his campaign. He stated, "It's become clear to me: this is not my time. After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president."

Although the setting may have been unexpected, Pence's eventual exit from the race was not entirely surprising. Throughout his four years as vice president, he was known for his unwavering loyalty to Trump, even in the face of impeachment, ethics scandals, and high staff turnover at the White House. However, when Trump pressured Pence to help overturn the legitimate victory of Joe Biden in the 2020 election, Pence stood his ground.

Pence's defiance of Trump's demands, which led to him being targeted by enraged pro-Trump supporters during the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, resulted in him being ostracized by the far-right. Despite Trump's ability to bounce back from controversies and legal issues, Pence's hopes of establishing his own political career were doomed. Despite his national recognition and experience in Washington, his campaign lacked support and was on the verge of humiliation as he faced the possibility of being excluded from a primary candidates' debate due to low poll numbers.

Pence's exit from the race now paves the way for Ron DeSantis, the right-wing governor of Florida, to emerge as Trump's main rival. However, many believe that DeSantis also faces slim chances of surpassing the Trump juggernaut. Following Pence's announcement, DeSantis took to social media to commend the former vice president as a "principled man of faith who has worked tirelessly to advance the conservative cause."

While DeSantis may see Pence's departure as an opportunity, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) expressed no remorse over Pence's exit. They stated that Pence, like other MAGA presidential hopefuls, would face the consequences of running on an unpopular and extreme agenda that threatens Americans' freedoms. The DNC spokesperson criticized Pence for setting the tone for the Republican primary and aligning the candidates with an extreme agenda that includes nationwide abortion bans, cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and support for election deniers.

In conclusion, Mike Pence's decision to drop out of the 2024 presidential race came as a surprise to many. His loyalty to Trump, despite the controversies surrounding the former president, ultimately led to his downfall. While his departure may benefit Ron DeSantis, the road to challenging the Trump juggernaut remains challenging. The DNC expressed no sympathy for Pence, attributing his exit to an extreme and unpopular agenda embraced by the Republican Party.

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