Mike Pence announces 2024 run with video calling for ‘different leadership’

‘Today our party and our country need a leader that will appeal, as Lincoln said, to the better angels of our nature’

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Wednesday 07 June 2023 12:11 BST
Mike Pence announces 2024 presidential run

Former vice president Mike Pence on Wednesday announced that he is entering the running for the 2024 presidential election, setting up a heated competition for the Republican nomination with former presidentDonald Trump.

In a launch video for his campaign, Mr Pence said a "different leadership" could turn the country around to prevent the American dream from being "crushed".

“Today our party and our country need a leader that will appeal, as Lincoln said, to the better angels of our nature,” Mr Pence continued.

While the video highlights Mr Pence’s work as vice president, it avoids making a single mention of the man he served during that period – Mr Trump.

“My family and I have been blessed beyond measure with opportunities to serve this nation, and it would be easy to stay on the sidelines,” he said.

"But that’s not how I was raised. That’s why today, before god and my family, I am announcing I am running for president of the US.”

The former Indiana governor continued: “We can bring this country back. We can defend our nation and secure our border.

“We could revive our economy, and put our nation back on a path to a balanced budget, defend our liberties and give America a new beginning for life.”

Mr Pence, 63, served as a member of the House of Representatives between 2001 and 2013 and as Indiana’s governor between 2013 and 2017, but rose to international attention as Mr Trump’s running-mate in 2016.

He remained at Mr Trump’s side throughout his tumultuous one-term presidency, a source of constant support until even his loyalty was tested beyond breaking point by the events of 6 January 2021.

Mr Pence’s presidential aspirations make him the first vice president in modern history to take on his former running mate.

He is scheduled to speak to supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, later in the day.

The campaign video aims to cast Mr Pence in a Regan-esque manner, which will also test the Republican Party’s appetite for a socially conservative, mild-mannered and deeply religious candidate.

Mr Pence will finds himself in competition not only with Mr Trump but also the likes of Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, South Carolina senator Tim Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and ex-radio pundit Larry Elder.

There is also former New Jersey governor Chris Christie in the fray, who launched his own official campaign on Tuesday.

Mr Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, on 7 June 1959, one of six children born to Edward and Nancy Pence and is a graduate of Hanover College and the Indiana University School of Law.

He married his wife Karen in 1985 and the couple have three children: Michael, Charlotte and Audrey.

His net wealth has been estimated at $4m, modest compared to some prominent politicians, but has been enhanced post-presidency after he signed a two-book deal with publishing giant Simon & Schuster, thought to be worth around $3-4m, according to industry insiders.

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