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Pence says Republicans ‘have better choices’ than Trump

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that Republicans “have better choices” for president in 2024 than former President Donald Trump.

Pence, in an interview on Fox News’ Special Report, emphasized that Republican voters long for a return to the policies of the Trump administration but want to avoid Trump’s divisive approach to the White House. While Pence said Trump was the only candidate who could defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016, he added that “different times call for different leadership.”

“I honestly believe that we’re going to have better choices,” Pence said. “I hear people saying that they would like us to move forward with leadership that will unite our country around our highest ideals and reflect the kind of respect and civility that the American people demonstrate to each other every day.”

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Pence’s comments come hours before former President Donald Trump will make what he calls a “very big announcement” in a speech at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida that is expected to be a declaration that he will run for president in 2024. 

Pence said he is giving a 2024 presidential run “prayerful consideration.”

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The former vice president said he is proud that Republicans took back the House in the midterm elections but wishes they could have won more competitive races. The winning formula, he said, was to focus on the issues that matter to voters at the moment. 

“Candidates that were focused on the past, on re-litigating the last election, did not fare so well,” Pence said. “There’s a real affirmation here that the Republican Party needs to be focused on the future.”

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Trump, as president, criticized Pence for certifying the 2020 election results, tweeting on January 6, 2021 that the vice president “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done.” Protesters at the Capitol were heard chanting “hang Mike Pence.” Trump then tweeted that rioters who entered the Capitol should leave and protest peacefully.

Pence said Tuesday that he always stayed loyal to Trump as vice president and kept his concerns between the two of them. January 6, he said, changed that relationship. 

“In that moment, when that tweet came across, it angered me,” Pence said. 

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