Will Pence Battle Trump for the Presidency?

President Trump and former Vice President Pence could potentially face-off during the 2024 Republican Party primaries. Sign of ongoing resentment, the two men haven’t spoken to each other’s in ages. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The bromance between President Trump and Mike Pence is definitely over, thanks to Pence’s dissociation with the absurd 2020 election fraud accusations. The 45th president visibly never got over the role that the vice president played in the certification of the 2020 presidential election results, on January 6, the same day as the Capitol’s insurrection.

On this tragic day, Trump supporters, fuelled by the president’s rhetoric, were calling for the hanging of the vice president if he accepted the outcome of the fair and democratic election. We now all know what happened after the “Stop the Steal” rally, which caused the deaths of five Americans, including one policeman. The 63-year-old politician could’ve died on that day, if the rioters had breeched the door leading to where he was in the Capitol. It is certain that these two men will never run together again. And in the eventuality where Trump becomes president once more, Pence won’t be back in the administration as vice president.

Mike Pence didn’t buy into the false election fraud claim conveyed by the president, his inner circle and some members of the Republican Party. He was commended by liberals for standing up to democracy, and defying the bully in chief. By many, it was seen as a courageous gesture considering everything he had been through with Trump over the years. Better than anyone else, Pence knew that he couldn’t stand with his boss on that one. The claims were not only nonsense, they were illegal.

To this date, it is baffling to hear from the MAGA team that the election was stolen, even with no tangible proof.

It is pretty clear that Trump will run again. We are just waiting for the official announcement. It may depend on the conclusions of the Justice Department after its investigation, if ever they find Trump criminally guilty for the January 6 insurrection.

The ex-TV personality and businessman has been doing rallies for the last few months, like the one’s we have gotten used to since 2015. They are entertaining and the content remains the same. Shamelessly, he attacks the media, fake news as he calls the news organizations, and brags about himself and his time in office. According to him, all the current US problems are a direct consequence of President Biden actions, including the high cost of living.

The mystery remains in the case of the former VP. Will he go or stay on the side lines and wait for a better window of opportunity? Will he join other members of the party who will try to but the chaotic years behind all Americans for the better of the country? Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, is one of them who has presidential intentions. Some like Ted Cruz and Chris Christie might be tempted to make a comeback.

The Republican Party didn’t use to make politics so polarizing. Pence likely wants to bring the old conservative principles back in the party platform, without alienated part of the electorate. In recent weeks and months, the ex-Indiana governor has been giving multiple speeches at conservative events. He did so in July at the America First Policy Institute Summit in Washington, D.C., a non-profit think tank’s gathering for republicans. His former boss also made a speech at that summit. One thing that was staggering when Mike Pence was addressing the participants is that he was repeating how the party needed to concentrate on the future in order to win back the White House; a clear contrast with his now rival, while still saying that their views on issues do not differ. Pence sure wants to be defined as the conservative guy who respects law and order.

The two politicians can agree on one issue, the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. They are quite glad that the country’s highest court took this stand, all because of the number of right-wing judges Trump was able to name throughout his mandate as president.

Pence, the evangelist politician is also set to launch a book title So Help Me God in November. Usually, this is a pretty good indicator of someone who is preparing a presidential bid, as they open up on who they are, their upbringing and their vision for the country.

Pence doesn’t go as far as other republican senators and representatives. He never mentioned that Trump was unfit to be president once more. The former lawyer is remaining vague in his critiques of Trump. In this case, his actions speak bigger than words.

Trump is by far the front runner for 2024 inside the Republican Party, but a considerable number of conservatives don’t want to see him on the presidential ticket. His central role in the January 6 attacks has a lot to do with all of that.

The recent RealClearPolitics poll is placing Trump in the lead with around 50% support in a 2024 primary, while Pence is at 7%.

According to another poll by the New York Times/ Siena College taken July 5–7, if a Biden-Trump rematch is set to take place, Biden would win by only a few points.

Sure thing is that we never get bored when it comes to American politics. The years leading to the 2024 presidential election will be high in rebounds.

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Olivier Pilon

Graduated with a masters degree in politics from the University of Quebec in Montreal. Human rights, LGBT issues, sports and music. Twitter: @OlivierPilon