Pence Mounts Long-Shot Bid With Speech Criticizing Trump

Two prominent Republicans joined the 2024 presidential primary race this week, and they have a couple of things in common: Both are preoccupied with trashing former President Donald Trump and neither appears to have any real chance of securing the nomination.

After former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie threw his hat in the ring earlier in the week, former Vice President Mike Pence made his announcement in Iowa on Wednesday.

While his rhetoric might have appealed to a small faction of never-Trump Republican voters, it was clearly not what the majority of the party wanted to hear. And the mainstream media made a point of reiterating that leftists would never forgive him for supporting Trump for most of his four years in the White House.

“We can turn this country around, but different times call for different leadership,” Pence said. “Today, our party and our country need a leader that will appeal as Lincoln said, to the better angels of our nature.”

He went on to take aim directly at his former boss, particularly in the context of the Jan. 6, 2021, protest on Capitol Hill.

Claiming that Trump put him in an untenable position amid concerns about the accuracy of the 2020 presidential election outcome, Pence asserted: “I believe anyone that puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States, and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president of the United States again.”

Not only did openly attacking the obvious front-runner in the primary race turn off a large portion of the GOP base, but Pence’s campaign announcement also attracted criticism on other fronts. For example, his attempt to resonate with Middle America by riding on a motorcycle sparked instant mockery.

As conservative writer Jane Guenther Parent opined: “So what is he doing now to offset the low-T, bland Mike Pence we all remember? Pulling a Tom Cruise and hopping on a motorcycle? Sorry, but wearing jeans and a leather vest while you ride a Harley in Iowa doesn’t suddenly transform you into an alpha male tough guy ready to rumble with Putin. It looks phony, contrived, and cringey.”