If former President Donald Trump decides to run for the White House again in 2024, it almost certainly won’t be with former Vice President Mike Pence by his side for another campaign.
According to The Hill, Trump made it clear in a recent interview that he was “disappointed” in Pence and that keeping him as a running mate would be unacceptable to a majority of his base of supporters.
That is undoubtedly because Pence did not go along with or support Trump’s post-2020 election claims of widespread voter fraud or a plan to reject the Electoral College votes of certain states where the presidential election outcome was disputed.
Trump base unlikely to accept Pence again
The news that Trump would not pair up with Pence again if he runs in 2024 came during an exclusive phone interview this week with the Washington Examiner.
“I don’t think the people would accept it,” Trump said of the idea that Pence would be his running mate again, though the former president did insist that his former vice president was a “really fine person” and that “I still like Mike.”
“Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end. We had a very good relationship,” he said. “I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.”
Certification of 2020 election still a sore spot
The falling out between the pair is inextricably linked to the events of January 6, 2021, during which then-VP Pence, in his role as president of the Senate, oversaw the congressional certification of the Electoral College results and declined to reject the slates of electors from disputed states, claiming at that time that he had no authority to do so.
“Mike thought he was going to be a human conveyor belt, that no matter how fraudulent the votes, you have to send them up to the Old Crow,” Trump told the Examiner of Pence while using a disparaging nickname for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“But that turned out to be wrong. Because now, as you know, they are feverishly working to try and get it so that the vice president cannot do what Mike said he couldn’t do,” he continued, referencing proposals to overhaul the Electoral Count Act and certification process. “Obviously, they were either lying, misrepresenting, or they didn’t know.”
Pence gearing up for own 2024 campaign
For what it is worth, Pence may not have agreed to run alongside Trump again even if he had been asked to do so, as both The Hill and the Examiner made note of increasingly critical comments the former VP has made about the former president in recent weeks and months.
Indeed, the signs are clear that Pence is laying the groundwork for his likely presidential campaign in 2024 — regardless of what Trump might do — and, in doing so, Pence has sought to create some distance between himself and his former boss.
According to the Election Central website and its average of 2024 GOP primary polls, if Trump runs again he currently leads the prospective field with 50.6 percent support, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) with 18.5 percent and Pence with 8.7 percent. If Trump doesn’t run, though, DeSantis leads the pack with 28 percent while Pence follows in second with 17 percent support.