Pence makes history, enters 2024 Republican race running against his former boss Donald Trump

Former Vice President Mike Pence spotlighted his differences with his two-time running mate — former President Donald Trump — as he formally declared his candidacy for president on Wednesday at a campaign launch event in Iowa, the state that leads off the Republican presidential nominating calendar. Pence joins a growing field of Republican White House contenders that’s currently dominated by Trump. And he’s making history as the first running mate in eight decades to run against his former boss, since Vice President John Nance Garner unsuccessfully challenged President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940 election. “As your vice president, I stood by president Donald Trump every single day when we made America great,” Pence said to a crowd of friends, supporters, and Iowa voters interested to hear what he had to say, who were gathered at Des Moines Area Community College. But the former vice president, who touts the Trump-Pence administration’s policy successes but contrasts himself with the controversial former president in terms of tone and tenor, said that “elections are about the future. Different times call or different leaders.” FIRST ON FOX: PENCE TAKES AIM AT TRUMP IN CAMPAIGN VIDEO KICK OFF “As your vice president, I stood by president Donald Trump every single day when we made America great again,” Pence said in his campaign announcement Wednesday. But sees “weariness” in America, and said “this country is in a lot of trouble.” In a campaign video released early on Wednesday that was shared first with Fox News, Pence took a subtle jab at his one-time running mate as he announced his presidential run. “Today, our party and our country need a leader that will appeal, as Lincoln said, to the better angels of our nature,” Pence said in his video, in an apparent swipe at Trump — who has repeatedly aired his grievances on the campaign trail. Pence enters the 2024 race polling the mid-single digits, far behind Trump and also significantly trailing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who trails Trump by double-digits but is firmly in second place, ahead of the former vice president and the rest of the field of actual and likely candidates. “I’m very confident that we’ll have the support to be able to carry our message, tell our story, which is not just my years as vice president but also years as governor of a conservative state leading a conservative agenda, record employment, as also being a conservative leader in the Congress of the United States, fighting against the big spenders in my own party,” Pence emphasized in a Fox News interview this past weekend. He pledged that “we’ll have the resources to tell our story and my hope is, should we enter the race, that by the time people are making decision, we won’t just be well known, we’ll be known well. They’ll know who the Pences are. They’ll know what our values are, our sense of calling, and I’m confident we can do that.” Pence, who turns 64 on Wednesday, was Indiana governor when Trump named him his running mate in 2016. For four years, Pence served as the loyal vice president to Trump. DOES THE EXPANDING GOP PRESIDENTIAL FIELD HELP OR HURT TRUMP? However, everything changed on Jan. 6, 2021, as right-wing extremists — including some chanting “hang Mike Pence” — stormed the U.S. Capitol aiming to upend congressional certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory that was overseen by Pence. In the more than two years since the end of the Trump administration, the former president and vice president have drifted farther apart. Pence has rebuked his former boss, calling him out by name while discussing Trump’s claim that Pence could have overturned the results of the 2020 presidential election. Pence has described the deadly attack on the Capitol as “tragic” and that “it dishonored the millions of people who had supported our cause around the country.” He has emphasized that he did “the right thing” and performed his “duty under the Constitution.” He has also noted a number of times that he and Trump may never “see eye to eye on that day.” Hardcore Trump loyalists will likely never forgive Pence, whom they view as a traitor for refusing to reject the 2020 election results. When asked in recent months about Trump, Pence has reiterated that “I think that we’ll have better choices in 2024.” And in his stump speeches, he touts the Trump-Pence administration’s policy successes but contrasts himself with the controversial former president in terms of tone and tenor. “Given my support for our record, it might be fair to ask why I am challenging my former running mate for the republican nomination for president, Pence said. And pointing to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, he said “it begins with a promise I made to the American people and to almighty god… and ends with a two different visions for the future of our party and the country.” “The former president continues to insist that i had the right to overturn the election. President Trump was wrong then and he is wrong now. I will always believe, by Gods grace, i did my duty on that day , i kept my oath, to ensure the peaceful transfer of power under the constitution and the laws of this country.” Pence’s message resonated with many in the crowd. “I love the integrity of that man. I think he’s honest. I love that God is part of his life. I love that” Darcy from Ames, Iowa told Fox News. “He’s definitely one that I’m really considering.” Erin Leonard, an undecided voter from Windsor Heights, Iowa, said “I’ve been a huge Mike Pence fan forever. I think he’s a good, honest, man.” Leonard said she wants “to know what sets him apart. What makes him the best choice for us, especially here in Iowa.” Matt Haynie, an Army veteran from Boone County, Iowa who also hasn’t made up his mind on whom to support in Iowa’s presidential caucuses, told Fox News Pence “is a man of integrity, at least that’s what he says. I think he lives it. I hope. I just want to hear what he has to say.” “As a veteran it’s kind of hard to vote for someone who doesn’t have a backbone,” he added. 
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