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Mike Pence is running Republican

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Ankeny, Iowa –

Former US Vice President Mike Pence opened his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday with a strong condemnation of former President Donald Trump, accusing his two-time running mate of abandoning conservative principles and failing to do his homework on January 6, 2021.

Pence said that on that difficult day, when Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol and the president falsely insisted that his vice president could overturn the election results, Trump demanded that I choose between him and our Constitution. Now, voters will face the same choice. ”

Pence is the first vice president in modern history to challenge the president he served under. While he spent much of his speech, delivered at a community college in suburban Des Moines, criticizing Democratic President Joe Biden and the direction he’s taken in the country, on Jan. 6 he also spoke face-to-face claiming Trump had left himself out. . when he falsely claimed Pence had the authority to keep him in office.

Trump’s remarks about mass voter fraud prompted a mob of his supporters to storm the US Capitol, sending Pence and his family to safety as some in the crowd chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” »

L’ancien Vice-President a Declaré: « I crois that quiconque s’oppose à la Constitution ne devrait jamais être president of États-Unis, and quiconque demande à quelqu’un d’autre de reverser the Constitution ne devrait more jamais être president United States. »

Pence has spent much of the past two and a half years grappling with the aftermath of that day as he tries to chart a political future in a party that remains fiercely loyal to Trump and filled with many who still believe Trump’s lies. That the 2020 election is stolen and that Pence may reject the results one way or another.

While Pence has criticized Trump for working to forge his own identity out of the former president’s shadow, he has generally done so indirectly, reflecting Trump’s continued popularity within the party. But on Wednesday, when Pence made his first offer to voters as the declared candidate, he wasn’t speaking his language.

He accused the former president of abandoning conservative values, including abortion.

“After leading the most pro-life administration in American history, Donald Trump and others in this race are moving away from the fetal issue,” said Pence, who supports a nationwide ban on the procedure. Calling for half a century – long before Donald Trump. And now he treats it as a nuisance, even blaming our loss in the 2022 election at the heart of Roe v. valley.

Trump declined to say which restrictions he supports nationwide and blamed strong rhetoric from some of the midterm candidates for their losses last November.

Pence also lamented the current policy of “courage and grievance,” saying the country needed leaders who know the difference between “a politics of anger and toughness.”

“We will restore a threshold of civility in public life,” he promised.

However, in an interview with Fox News after his speech, Pence said he would “fully support the Republican nominee” even if it was Trump. Pence, in a public hearing on CNN on Wednesday night, said he did not think Trump should be charged in the Mar-a-Lago documents case — even though federal prosecutors have evidence he committed a crime.

“I just hope there is a way for them to move forward without the dramatic, radical and divisive step of impeaching the former president of the United States,” he said. He also refused to say whether, if elected, he would forgive Trump if Trump was convicted.

Trump did not respond to Pence’s inaugural address, but his supporters did.

The question most GOP voters ask about Pence’s candidacy is why? said Caroline Levitt, a spokeswoman for a major political party that supports Trump.

With Pence entering the race, on his 64th birthday, the GOP field is pretty much ready. They include Trump, who is leading in early polls, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, still in second place, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Pence’s campaign will test the party’s appetite for a deeply religious, socially conservative candidate who has been critical of the populist wave that has swept his party under Trump. Penny is, in many ways, a throwback to the party days of yesteryear. Unlike Trump and DeSantis, he argues that cuts to Social Security and Medicare should be on the table and lashes out at those who have questioned why the US continues to send aid to Israel, Ukraine to counter Russian aggression.

Pence and his advisers see Iowa – the frontrunner in the Republican nomination calendar – as key to his path to the nomination. His constituency includes a large percentage of Christian evangelicals, who see themselves as a natural constituency for Pence, a social conservative who often speaks about his faith.

But Pence faces serious challenges. Although he is one of the most popular Republican candidates in the crowded field, he is viewed with skepticism by voters left and right. Trump’s critics see him as complicit in the former president’s most indefensible actions, while many Trump loyalists have denounced him as a traitor, in part because the president has been denied a second term.

A CNN poll last month found that 45% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they would not support Pence in any way. And in Iowa, the March Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll showed Pence receiving higher unfavorable ratings than any other candidate he asked about, including Trump and DeSantis.

But Pence, who has visited Iowa more than a dozen times since leaving office, received a standing ovation from voters during his visits.

Among his audience on Wednesday were a number of Republican officials from Iowa, including former Iowa Rep. Greg Jansky, whose time in Congress overlapped with Pence’s briefly.

“I’m here because we’re friends,” said Gansky, who represented Des Moines County in the House of Representatives. However, he said he was not sure who to support at the caucuses. “We have a lot of good candidates,” he said.

Jon Steuterman, a 44-year-old insurance executive, said he was drawn to Pence’s experience in the White House and was “tired of negativity” that another Trump term might bring.

He said: Mike Pence is a gentleman. But when asked if he locked himself in with Pence at the caucuses, Stutterman replied, “I’m not married to the idea, but I’ll watch it and listen to it and I’ll follow it.” . »

It was the same for Dave Bobick, who lives in Grimes, hailing Pence as “a very professional man,” “a statesman,” and “a man of great character” — with the potential to become president. “But I think there are other good candidates,” he said, adding that he would “wait and see how it goes.”

When asked why he didn’t sell it for a penny, Bobick replied, “Maybe it’s too nice. … I don’t know if it’s strong enough for what we need now. That would be my hesitation.”

Pence’s decision to focus on Jan. 6 reflects his advisers’ strategy to confront the Capitol attack head-on.

His argument resonated with Ruth Eller, a retired teacher from West Des Moines who attended the speech.

“The constitution is the document of our country and I endorsed it on January 6 when he was following the constitution. If he feels different from our previous president, this is an important point for him.

However, Eller could not determine whether she was inclined to support Pence at the caucuses.

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