Former US Vice President Mike Pence launched his presidential campaign on Wednesday, presenting the Republican nomination as a choice between Donald Trump, whom he described as “reckless,” and the Constitution. Pence argued that Trump’s attempt to overturn the previous election should disqualify him from running again in 2024. While Pence expressed pride in standing by Trump during his time as vice president, he drew a line at Trump’s encouragement of the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, emphasizing that he chose the Constitution over loyalty to Trump. Despite being known for his unwavering support during the Trump administration, Pence became ostracized by Trump’s fervent base and Trump himself when he refused to interfere with the 2020 election as instructed. Pence’s campaign launch emphasized the delicate balance he must strike between distancing himself from the chaos of the Trump era while claiming credit for what he views as the country’s achievements.
He said, “As I’ve said many times, on that fateful day, president Trump’s words were reckless and endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol,” Pence told supporters in Ankeny, Iowa.
“The American people deserve to know that on that day, President Trump also demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. Now voters will be faced with the same choice. I chose the Constitution and I always will.”