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Mike Pence is challenging former President Trump for the Republican Party nomination

2023-06-08 20:19:23, Kosova & Bota CNA

Mike Pence is challenging former President Trump for the Republican Party

This week several Republicans have announced their candidacy for president in an effort to prevent former President Donald Trump from winning the Republican Party nomination for a third consecutive term. Among them stands out the candidate Mike Pence, Mr. Trump's loyal vice president. Voice of America correspondent Steve Herman reports that Mr. Pence began the campaign by doing what he previously hesitated to do, strongly criticizing the behavior of his former boss while he served in the White House.

On his 64th birthday, former US Vice President Mike Pence for the first time directly attacked his party's front-runner, former President Donald Trump, in whose shadow he stood for four years.

"I believe that anyone who puts himself above the Constitution should never be president of the United States." And anyone who asks anyone to put that above the Constitution should never be president of the United States," Mr. Pence said.

When protesters supporting Mr. Trump stormed Congress on January 6, 2021, the crowd chanted 'Hang Mike Pence', because of the then-Vice President's refusal to comply with the president's request that he officially disrupt the process by declaring Mr. Joe Biden winner of the 2020 election.

"Joseph R. Biden from the state of Delaware received 306 votes. Florida's Donald J. Trump has received 232 votes," Vice President Pence told Congress in 2021.

Mr. Pence enjoys traditional Republican views on the economy and foreign policy issues. He is an evangelical Christian, as are a good number of Republican voters. Mr Pence is trying to portray himself as the most conservative Republican candidate on social issues such as abortion.

"After leading the most pro-life administration in American history, Donald Trump and others in this race are backing away from the cause to protect unborn babies," Mr. Pence said.

George Mason University political science professor Jeremy Mayer questions how it is possible that despite his qualifications, polls show that Mr. Pence enjoys low support among Republicans. Polls show him trailing Mr. Trump's closest challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"The post he held has dimmed his figure more than most other vice presidents. President Trump asked for extreme loyalty to the point of submission," says Professor Jeremy Mayer for VOA.

To date, only two vice presidents have managed to win the White House. Republican Richard Nixon won the presidency in 1968. The second case is the victory of Democrat Joe Biden against the Republican duo Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

"Trump has transformed the party. His opponent, Ron DeSantis, is moving toward populism and getting into the culture wars. Mike Pence can do that, in terms of content, he can talk about the politics of the culture war. So far it has not shown the ability to use a populist tone. This is what the Republican Party wants after Trump," says Professor Jeremy Mayer.

Regardless of the outcome of the Republican primaries next year, Mr. Mike Pence has already made history, becoming the first former US vice president to directly challenge the former president with whom he served in the White House for four years./ VOA

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