Former President Donald Trump on Saturday called on his former vice president and previous running mate to endorse him.
Former Vice President Mike Pence had suspended his presidential campaign earlier in the day during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“People are leaving now and they’re all endorsing me,” Trump said. “I don’t know about Mike Pence. He should endorse me. He should endorse me. You know why? Because I had a great successful presidency and he was the vice president. He should endorse me. I chose him, made him vice president, but people in politics can be very disloyal.”
President Trump on Mike Pence: “He should endorse me…because I had a great, successful presidency” pic.twitter.com/fnpH05ZId5
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) October 29, 2023
In his speech, Pence told the crowd it was not his time to lead the country but said he would “never leave the fight for conservative values.” He did not make an endorsement but called on Republicans to stay away from the “siren song of populism.”
“We always knew this would be an uphill battle, but I have no regrets,” Pence told the crowd. “The only thing that would have been harder than coming up short would have been if we’d never tried at all.”
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Pence’s polling average was 3.5%, well behind Trump’s average of 59.1%. He was polling in fifth place, behind Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
Trump’s call for Pence’s endorsement came during his second speech in Las Vegas on Saturday – he spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition gathering shortly after Pence but did not address his former VP’s campaign suspension during the appearance. DeSantis spoke immediately after Pence and also did not address the former VP’s comments, according to Fox News, though he did issue a statement later.
Pence served as vice president from 2017 to 2021 under Trump. Leading up to the events of January 6, 2021, their relationship appeared to strain, and both Trump and Pence have since taken shots at each other.
In Trump’s speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition, he said that “everybody that leaves” the race was endorsing him, referring to conservative talk radio host Larry Elder and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson. Elder endorsed Trump after suspending his presidential campaign just days ago, saying that Trump’s “leadership has been instrumental in advancing conservative, America-first principles.”
Johnson dropped out of the race two weeks ago. He endorsed Trump last week, saying he is the only candidate who can “provide a solution to our nation’s economic, foreign policy and social crises, and most importantly, beat Joe Biden at the ballot box.”