Former Vice President Mike Pence is quietly taking steps toward a 2024 presidential bid, drawing backlash from former President Donald Trump, The New York Times reports.
Pence has been laying the groundwork for a potential 2024 challenge to Trump, criticizing his former running-mate over Jan. 6.
Pence headed to Georgia on Monday to campaign for Gov. Brian Kemp, one of Trump’s top targets. Trump is backing former Sen. David Perdue in the Republican primary after criticizing Kemp for not doing more to overturn his election loss.
The move is part of a growing “proxy war” between the two camps.
Pence notably declined to rule out running even if Trump seeks re-election.
“We’ll go where we’re called,” Pence said. “That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things.”
Trumpworld lashes out:
A Trump spokesman lashed out at Pence over the report.
“Mike Pence was set to lose a governor’s race in 2016 before he was plucked up and his political career was salvaged,” Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told the Times. “Now, desperate to chase his lost relevance, Pence is parachuting into races, hoping someone is paying attention. The reality is, President Trump is already 82-3 with his endorsements, and there’s nothing stopping him from saving America in 2022 and beyond.”
Republicans pull away from Trump:
Trump is no longer scaring off some prominent Republicans from running in 2024. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime Trump ally, has said he is thinking about running even if Trump jumps in.
“Given the problems the country is facing at home and abroad, if you only feel up for it if somebody else doesn’t run, well, then you better not run,” Christie told the Times. “Everybody who is considering running for president in ’24 should have a moral obligation to make that decision regardless of who else runs.”