The Commercial Appeal

Pence won’t say he’d back Trump in 2024

- Meg Kinnard

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Former Vice President Mike Pence declined to say Thursday whether he would back Donald Trump if his former boss were to be the Republican presidenti­al nominee in 2024.

Pence, widely expected to seek the nomination himself, suggested that Trump’s leadership style isn’t what the party needs in the upcoming White House race.

“I think we’ll have better choices,” Pence told The Associated Press in an interview in South Carolina. “I’m persuaded that no one could have defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 except Donald Trump, but I think we live in a different time and it calls for different leadership.”

Pence and Trump have been estranged since the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, by Trump’s supporters in an attempt to stop the congressio­nal certificat­ion of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

Republican­s are expected to include a pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee among formal criteria for participat­ion in primary debates.

Pence, on his ninth trip to the earlyvotin­g state since leaving office, participat­ed in a policing roundtable with officials in North Charleston. He planned to meet later with pastors in Greenville and host a talk about his latest book at Bob Jones University.

Pence said he would make a decision about 2024 “by the spring.” Already in the race are Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Others who could join them include Florida Gov. Ron Desantis and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

“The American people want us to return to the policies of the Trump-pence administra­tion, but I think they want to see leadership that reflects more of the character of the American people: namely the commitment to principle and the civility that Americans show each other every day,” Pence said. “And so, if we enter the fray, we will offer that kind of leadership.”

“I promise you, if I become a candidate for president of the United States, I’ll be me,” Pence said. “I will do it all in a way that I’ve always aspired to do, and that is show the kind of respect to people, even of differing opinions, that I think the American people show each other every day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States