Candidate Pence Takes on Donald Trump

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks during his campaign launch event at the FFA Enrichment Center of the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, on Wednesday. (Photo by STEPHEN MATUREN/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Vice President Mike Pence declared his old running mate unfit for the White House, using his 2024 campaign launch to call out Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and make the case to GOP voters for his own brand of constitutional conservatism.

“I believe anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States. And I believe anyone who asks others to put them over the Constitution should never be president of the United States again,” Pence told a crowd of supporters in Ankeny, Iowa, Wednesday afternoon.

Pence proudly ticked off the list of accomplishments achieved by what he called the “Trump-Pence administration.” But in unequivocal terms, Pence also defended his critical decision to refuse Trump’s demand that he help overturn the 2020 election while presiding over the joint session of Congress that met January 6, 2021, to certify President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. In announcing his presidential bid, Pence cast the 2024 race as a similar inflection point for the GOP. 

“President Trump also demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution,” he said. “Now voters will be given the same choice. I chose the Constitution, and I always will.”

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