Former Vice President Mike Pence says he is more confident after the first GOP primary debate that former President Trump will not be the 2024 Republican nominee.
CBS’s Nancy Cordes, guest hosting “Face the Nation,” asked the former vice president why he signed the Republican National Committee (RNC) pledge vowing to support the GOP nominee, even if it means supporting former President Trump. Pence said that he does not expect Trump will be the nominee, noting that he signed the pledge to oppose President Biden.
“Well, look, I signed a pledge to be on that stage to say that I support the Republican nominee,” Pence said Sunday. “I remain confident, more confident after Wednesday night, that the Republican nominee will not be the former president, that we’re going to give the American people a standard-bearer for the GOP that’s going to be able to lead us to victory against Joe Biden and the radical left.”
Trump remains the front-runner in the GOP primary and has maintained a comfortable lead over his challengers. According to RealClearPolitics’s polling average, the former president is polling an average of about 55 percent while Pence is polling an average of about 4 percent.
When talking about the RNC pledge, Pence instead pivoted to criticize Biden — the likely nominee for the Democratic Party.
“I raised my hand just to say that I’ll support the Republican nominee because Nancy, I could never support Joe Biden,” he said. “I mean, Joe Biden’s policies have been disastrous. He and his family are under an ethical cloud themselves. And frankly, Joe Biden has trampled on the Constitution of the United States.”
“So I’ll support the Republican nominee and — and I’m going to continue to work my heart out to make sure that it’s me,” he added.
To qualify for the first GOP presidential primary debate, candidates needed to meet certain donor and polling requirements, as well as sign the RNC pledge promising to support the eventual Republican nominee. Pence has been critical of Trump in the past, accusing the former president of asking him to put him over the Constitution on Jan. 6, 2021.
“And I welcome the fact that almost everybody on that stage made it clear that I did my duty that day,” he said. “And I think the American people deserve to hear where every single one of the candidates for the Republican nomination stand.”