Mike Pence vows 'real change' in US in 2024 presidential campaign launch

Republican field seeking party's nomination grows to double digits

Former US vice president Mike Pence will challenge his former boss Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. AP
Powered by automated translation

Former US vice president Mike Pence has announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, pitting him against his former boss Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

“Today, before God and my family, I'm announcing I'm running for president of the United States,” Mr Pence said in a campaign video released on Wednesday.

He appeared at a campaign event in Iowa, which historically is one of the earliest stops in the primary elections calendar.

“We will restore a threshold of civility in public life,” Mr Pence pledged.

He also spoke at a CNN town hall event in Iowa on Wednesday evening.

“Now more than ever, I think those of us that have the experience to bring back real change and put America back on a track of commonsense conservative principles have a responsibility to step forward. And that's why I'm running,” he declared.

Mr Pence filed paperwork for his presidential campaign on Monday.

The former vice president was loyal to Mr Trump during the former president's term in office, but fell out with the populist leader when he refused to play a part in overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“As I've said many times, on that fateful day, President Trump's words were reckless and endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol,” Mr Pence told supporters at the Iowa event.

“The American people deserve to know that on that day, President Trump also demanded that I choose between him and the constitution. Now voters will be faced with the same choice. I chose the constitution and I always will.”

Mr Pence has said he would never agree with Mr Trump on the January 6 insurrection, a stance which has made him unpopular with a large selection of Republican voters.

“I continue to believe that today we cannot ever allow what happened on January 6 to happen again in the heart of our democracy,” he said during the CNN town hall.

He declared that he had “no interest and no intention of pardoning” people involved in the Capitol attack, a move Mr Trump said he would do.

The former vice president is currently polling a little over 5 per cent, FiveThirtyEight's polling aggregator showed. Mr Trump remains the clear favourite, polling at 53.7 per cent.

Mr Pence now joins a Republican field that has swelled into double digits.

Among his rivals are Mr Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum is also expected to announce his 2024 campaign on Wednesday, although he will have considerable work to do to boost his national profile as he remains relatively unknown beyond his state.

Updated: June 08, 2023, 3:55 AM