Trump vs. Pence: The Battle the GOP Doesn't Need

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

According to a report from The New York Times, former Vice President Mike Pence is allegedly open to a 2024 presidential primary run against former President Donald Trump.

“[Vice President] Pence is seeking to reintroduce himself to Republican voters ahead of a potential presidential bid by setting himself apart from what many in the G.O.P. see as the worst impulses of Mr. Trump,” the report says. “He’s among a small group in his party considering a run in 2024 no matter what Mr. Trump decides.”

The report cites Pence’s unwavering insistence in recent speeches that he had no authority to block the ratification of 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021, as evidence that Pence is seeking to distance himself from his former boss. The report also claims that Pence’s endorsement of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp over Trump’s pick, Sen. David Perdue, is his “boldest and most unambiguous step toward confronting” Trump.

Pence, they say, “is seeking to claim a share of credit in what’s expected to be the starkest repudiation yet of Mr. Trump’s attempt to consolidate power, with Mr. Kemp widely expected to prevail,” though it seems likely they’re reading too much into it. Trump’s main issue with Kemp is that he didn’t do enough to address allegations of widespread voter fraud in Georgia, which was decided by a very small number of votes. Pence’s move is definitely not a repudiation of those allegations, as Pence himself has acknowledged there were “irregularities” in the 2020 election.

Nevertheless, The New York Times sees it as the “beginning of a new rivalry,” and they may actually not be far off from the truth.

For starters, Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesman, mocked Pence ahead of his upcoming trip to Georgia.

“Mike Pence was set to lose a governor’s race in 2016 before he was plucked up and his political career was salvaged,” Budowich said. “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.”

Related: To Win in 2024, We Have to Look Forward

Was attacking Pence necessary? It most certainly was not, and the implications of the attack are very significant. Pence has previously described the state of his relationship with Trump as still being good. Earlier this month, Trump similarly suggested that they were friends, though they hadn’t spoken in months. However, he also seemed to hint that if Pence chose to run in 2024, he would have a hard time. “If Mike got in, I think it would be a hard one for him. I think it would be a hard one. I understand where the base is. I love the base. The base loves me. I think it would be hard, but Mike was a good guy. I thought he was a very good vice president. He was my friend.”

Still, it’s hard not to see that the Times is anxious for Trump and Pence to run against each other in a Republican primary. Why? Because it would be an utter disaster for the party. Pence hasn’t ruled out running but has made no decision on it. Trump has indicated he’ll make his decision after the 2022 midterms. Should Trump run, I hope Pence does not. Nothing good can come from Trump and Pence going against each other in 2024. Part of that is Trump’s fault.

As much as it is clear there were fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election, and they may have altered the outcome of the election, it was the states that had the authority to do something about it. By the time it was on Pence to certify the results, there was nothing he could do. The vice president’s role in the certifications was ceremonial. Trump’s failure to acknowledge this means that a Republican primary with both men would get derailed by rehashing the 2020 election instead of looking forward and focusing on cleaning up Joe Biden’s mess.


Trending on PJ Media Videos