Though many expect former Vice President Mike Pence to announce a 2024 White House run sometime in the near future, he recently made his feelings known about the primary prospects of a candidate who has already thrown his hat into the ring, namely, former President Donald Trump, as Breitbart reports.
Pence's remarks on the upcoming battle for the Oval Office came during a recent appearance on Fox News' The Story, and he did not hold back about the options he hopes voters will have when it comes time to cast their ballot in GOP primary contests.
Program host Martha MacCallum began by reminding Pence of a prior statement he made at the time Trump declared his intentions for 2024, saying, “So, when the former president announced that he was going to get in the race, you said that you believed that the American voter would have better choices than him,” MacCallum said to Pence.
“This is the latest polling, Donald Trump at 54%, [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis at 24. You are at 6% and on down the line here. What do you think about the fact that his numbers are so strong right now, sir?” MacCallum continued.
Doubling down on his previous take, Pence said, “Look, it's early in this process. I do think we'll have better choices.”
“I think nobody could have defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 other than Donald Trump. But I think come 2024, our party will choose the right standard-bearer to meet this moment, to strengthen America at home and abroad,” Pence insisted.
The former vice president was also asked whether Trump's existing and potential legal difficulties will disqualify him in the next election – and if he thought that they should.
“Look, at the end of the day, I'd rather we leave these decisions to voters,” Pence demurred, adding, “But I just trust Republican primary voters. I trust the American people to choose the right leadership for America.”
Pence's answers were similar to ones he gave late last month to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo when he said that while he thinks options besides the former president are what the electorate wants, he also believes that “the American people are ready for change, and they're ready to get back to the policies that we advanced in the Trump--Pence administration.”
“I really do believe the country's in a lot of trouble, and now more than ever, all of us need to reflect very deeply on what we can do individually and what we can do collectively to put America back on the right path,” Pence asserted.
Despite having not yet jumped into the race as a candidate, Pence has been making the typical rounds of a politician contemplating a presidential bid, having already made multiple trips to the early primary state of Iowa.
Pence also made a high-profile speech Friday at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Indianapolis, bolstering his Second Amendment bona fides among prospective primary voters.
Whether or when Pence will formally make his plans known remains up in the air, with the former VP telling MacCallum, “[M]y family and I continue to reflect on what role we might play” in the future of the GOP.”
“And I promise to keep you informed of any decisions we made,” Pence added, though his candidacy has seemed to many a foregone conclusion for quite a long time.