Will he, or won’t he? As former grifter-in-chief, Donald Trump, holds the threat of running in the 2024 presidential election over our heads, another question has been the elephant in the room — would he choose Mike Pence as his running mate, if he did?
Well, wait no more. In an interview with The Washington Examiner, the former (and hopefully never again) president has officially nipped that prospect in the bud, telling his interviewer that “I don’t think people would accept it.”
By people, I assume, he means his base.
“Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end. We had a very good relationship. I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.”
While Trump expressed disappointment in Pence for not refusing to certify the 2020 election and to overturn the results in Trump’s favor, he stopped short of lashing out at Pence in true Former Guy fashion. While he is known for angry 2 AM Twitter rants (when he had an account) and, more recently, from his tiny desk chair combo at Mar-a-Lago, Trump has been uncharacteristically easy on his former number two, even saying that despite their relationship being irreparably harmed, he “still liked him.”
I do suspect that Trump’s decision not to choose Pence as his 2024 running mate — if he chooses to run a third time — may have something to do with Pence’s recent rehabilitation tour, where Pence has both criticized and contradicted his former boss, multiple times — if not directly by name.
When speaking at a Federalist Society function in February, Pence said it was “un-American” to suggest he could have overturned the election results. Also, at an RNC fundraiser, he told a room of GOP donors that there was “no room in the Republican Party for Putin apologists,” going against statements previously made by Trump that Putin was “savvy” and “genius” for invading Ukraine.
While Trump was silent on the matter, from what we know about his sentiments towards those that cross him, he isn’t likely to forgive or forget the lack of loyalty to all things Trump.
Though he stands by his decision, it wasn’t an easy one. Pence tried to find an out. Journalist Bob Woodward wrote in his book with Robert Costa, Peril, that Pence reached out to former Vice President Dan Quayle multiple times, hoping Quayle would give him the answer he was looking for.
Quayle didn’t, saying in no uncertain terms that there was no way Pence could overturn the election results.
Pence eventually conceded — though he credits the Bible for him “seeing the light” — leading Pence to ask a judge to throw out GOP Representative Louie Gohmert’s petition asking for Pence’s Vice Presidential powers to be broadened, therefore giving Pence the power to give Trump what he wanted.
Pence has yet to comment on Trump saying he will not choose him to share the 2024 ticket. I have a feeling, however, any disappointment would be short-lived, considering what happened the last time he shared a ballot with his former boss.
There’s something about being ushered with your family down a secret stairwell away from an angry mob erecting a noose while shouting “HANG MIKE PENCE” at the urging of your boss that may make one reluctant to jump back on the Trump Train.
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