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Pence Won't Back Trump for 2024 GOP Nomination: 'We'll Have Better Choices'

Michael Foust | CrosswalkHeadlines Contributor | Updated: Nov 18, 2022
Pence Won't Back Trump for 2024 GOP Nomination: 'We'll Have Better Choices'

Pence Won't Back Trump for 2024 GOP Nomination: 'We'll Have Better Choices'

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday declined to endorse former running mate Donald Trump in the latter's 2024 run for the White House, saying the two have gone their "separate ways" following the attack on the U.S. capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

"Whatever role I and my family play in the Republican Party, whether it's as a candidate or simply a part of the cause, I think we'll have better choices … than my old running mate," Pence said in a wide-ranging town hall meeting on CNN. "... I think America longs to go back to the policies that were working for the American people, but I think it's time for new leadership in this country that will bring us together around our highest ideals."

Asked if he himself will run for president in 2024, Pence responded, "We'll keep you posted."

Pence said he still prays for Trump yet has been disappointed that his former boss has "returned to the rhetoric" used before Jan. 6. Pence also said he does not believe the 2020 election was stolen.

"There were voting irregularities in a number of states where election laws had been changed by either executive action or by the courts … [but] there was never evidence of widespread fraud. I don't believe fraud changed the outcome of the election," Pence said.

In the days after the 2020 election, Pence said, he was encouraging Trump to "simply accept the outcome of the election and move on" after the legal challenges were exhausted.

"But he was hearing different voices," Pence said. "And frankly, there were some legal experts that were allowed on the White House grounds that should have never been let through the gate."

Pence said he was "angry" by the attack on the U.S. capitol but forgave his boss because, "my Christian faith tells me to be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry." He and Trump "spoke from time to time after we both left office," yet after "the president returned to the rhetoric that he was using" pre-Jan. 6 – "criticizing me and others who had taken a stand for the Constitution of the United States – "I just determined it was best to go our separate ways."

American society, Pence said, needs to learn to forgive.

"I truly do believe that we live in a time when the American people ought to be searching our hearts and having more grace toward one another," he said. "It seems like our country is more divided now than ever before. Even broadcast networks seem to be perceived to be divided along partisan lines, which is why I'm grateful for the opportunity to be on CNN today. … If all of us can be more forgiving to one another, we'll have unity in this country more than we've had in recent years and with that unity will meet the challenges that America faces in the balance of this new century."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Sean Rayford/Stringer 

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist PressChristianity TodayThe Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Pence Won't Back Trump for 2024 GOP Nomination: 'We'll Have Better Choices'