Updated Oct 28, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Mike Pence suspends presidential campaign as Trump surges

mike pence at rjc

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition's Annual Leadership Summit at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas on Oct. 28, 2023. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence announced Saturday that he is ending his 2024 presidential campaign.

Why it matters: The announcement comes after the former vice president struggled to gain traction in the crowded Republican primary, and less than two weeks before the third GOP debate.

Driving the news: Pence announced that he was suspending his campaign at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual gathering in Las Vegas.

  • "It's become clear to me, this is not my time," Pence said in a speech. "So after much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today."
  • "I'm leaving this campaign, but let me promise you, I will never leave the fight for conservative values and I will never stop fighting to elect principled Republican leaders to every office in the land."

Zoom in: Pence had roughly $620,000 in debt at the end of the third quarter and entered October with just $1.18 million cash on hand, according to his latest filing with the Federal Election Commission.

  • By comparison, Trump entered October with more than $37 million in cash on hand.
  • Pence, who made appealing to evangelical conservatives in Iowa central to his bid, averaged about 3.8% in national GOP primary polls, according to FiveThirtyEight's tracker, last updated on Oct. 27.
  • He had not yet qualified for the third Republican primary debate scheduled for Nov. 8.

Flashback: Pence launched his presidential campaign in June and issued what was, at the time, a rare condemnation of former President Donald Trump, who now commands a dominant lead in the race for the GOP nomination.

  • "Anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States," Pence said, referencing how his former boss tried to pressure him to reject the electoral college results on Jan. 6, 2021.

Go deeper: Mike Pence's presidential campaign faces a cash squeeze

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

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