Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Review Institute's 2023 Ideas Summit in Washington, DC, USA, 31 March 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/JIM LO SCALZO

Trump ‘should never be president’ again, says Pence at 2024 campaign launch

Washington, June 7 (EFE).- Former United States vice president Mike Pence said Donald Trump “should never be president of the United States again” at the launch of his campaign for the Republican nomination on Wednesday ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (L) reacts next to then-US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) at the conclusion of their announcement at the New York Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom in New York, New York, USA, 16 July 2016. EFE-EPA FILE/JASON SZENES

In his speech in Ankeny, Iowa, Pence distanced himself from Trump, the favorite to win the Republican nomination and his two-time running mate whom he served under in the White House during 2017-2021.

Vice President Mike Pence reads the certification at the end of the joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden as the next US president in the US capitol in for a further debate in Washington, DC, USA, 07 January, 2021. EFE-EPA FILE/JIM LO SCALZO

He positioned himself as a defender of conservative values and the constitution, recalling that on Jan. 6, as he presided over Congress to certify the victory of Democrat Joe Biden against Trump in the 2020 election, the then-president urged him to block the process.

“On that fateful day, President Trump’s words were reckless and endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol,” he said, recalling the incident in which Trump incited his supporters to march to Congress where thousands stormed the building.

“But the American people deserve to know, on that day, President Trump also demanded I choose between him and the constitution. Now voters will be faced with the same choice. I chose the constitution, and I always will,” he said.

“I believe that anyone who puts themselves over the constitution should never be president of the United States. And anyone who asks someone else to put them over the constitution should never be president of the United States again.”

Throughout his speech, Pence, a man of deep Christian faith, also spoke to Iowa’s large evangelical voter base, making numerous religious references.

“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” he defined himself.

In another effort to distance himself from Trump, he spoke about abortion and said that when the former president first ran for the White House in 2016, he “promised to govern as a conservative.”

“Together, we did just that. Today, he makes no such promise,” he said. “After leaving the most pro-life administration in American history, Donald Trump and others in this race are retreating from the cause of the unborn. Sanctity of life has been our party’s calling for a half-a-century, long before Donald Trump was a part of it. Now he treats it is an inconvenience, even blaming our election losses in 2022 on overturning Roe v Wade.”

Pence stressed that he will always “stand for the sanctity of life, and I will not rest and I will not relent until we restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law in every state in the land,” but did not say whether he would sign a federal law banning abortion.

Like the other Republican candidates, Pence also criticized Biden’s management and said the country is unrecognizable after years of a Democratic government.

He drew a bleak picture, saying the US is now facing “crises everywhere,” such as on the border, and with high inflation and increased crime.

Therefore, he justified his candidacy before God and his family to return the country to the prosperity of the past.

Pence was the last Republican to officially launch his campaign, following 11 other candidates, among which Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are front-runners in the polls.

Other conservatives who have stepped up include North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum; former governors Nikki Haley, Asa Hutchinson and Chris Christie, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

Businessmen Vivek Ramaswamy, Ryan Binkley and Perry Johnson have presented their candidacy, as well as broadcaster Larry Elder. EFE