Mike Pence files his candidacy for the White House: the conservative will challenge his former boss Donald Trump
Sylvie Claire / June 7, 2023
Former Vice President Mike Pence filed his candidacy for the White House this Monday, according to documents released by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and will therefore challenge his former boss Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican primaries.
The conservative will make his entry into the race official on Wednesday, his 64th birthday, with a video, followed by a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, and ending the day on a CNN set, according to those close to him.
He joins an already crowded field of Republican candidates, with a dozen or so contenders who, for the time being, are all well behind the former president in the polls.
An evangelical Christian and staunch opponent of abortion, Mike Pence had helped Donald Trump win over the religious right by serving as his running mate during the 2016 presidential campaign. After years of unwavering loyalty, he changed his tune in the wake of the assault on the Capitol, which shook American democracy on January 6, 2021.
On that day, Mike Pence, as Vice President, was leading the Congressional session in which elected officials were to certify Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. Although his role was merely ceremonial, Donald Trump had insisted that he refuse to validate the Democrat's election.
The former governor of Indiana had not complied, earning him strong enmity among the billionaire's supporters. Entering the Capitol by force, some of them called for Mike Pence to be "hanged", and he had to hide in a hurry. Since then, he has said that the president's words had been "irresponsible" and had "put him in danger ».
The rift between the two men compromises the chances of Mike Pence, whom many activists loyal to Donald Trump continue to regard as a "traitor ».
The man with the wise white wick has plateaued at around 3.8% of voting intentions, far behind the former president (53.2%), according to the average of the latest polls carried out by the RealClearPolitics website.
He was also outdistanced by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (22.4%), who also relied on a very conservative discourse but with a more offensive tone, and by a hair's breadth by former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (4.4%).
Yet he has been preparing his candidacy for months. After publishing a book entitled "So Help Me God", the former radio host has been criss-crossing the country, speaking in states likely to make a difference in the Republican primaries.