Former Vice President Mike Pence announced his decision to suspend his presidential campaign while appearing at the Republican Jewish Coalition.
“The Bible tells us that there is time for every purpose under heaven,” Pence said at the event on Oct. 28 while in Las Vegas. “Traveling across the country for the past six months, I came here to say it has become clear to me. This is not my time.”
“So after much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today,” said the former governor of Indiana.
“Now 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,” added Pence. “So help me God.”
Pence served as former President Donald Trump’s vice president from 2017 to 2021. The two men have publicly sparred since leaving office primarily over the event of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Pence told ABC News in March that Trump had let him down and that they have gone “separate ways.”
Trump has consistently led the field of Republican presidential hopefuls, whereas Pence has remained in the middle of the pack since he announced his campaign in June.
Pence called Trump’s campaign a distraction days after the real estate mogul was indicted for a second time by Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith in early August.
“Today’s indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States,” Pence wrote in a post on X. “The former president is entitled to the presumption of innocence but with this indictment, his candidacy means more talk about January 6th and more distractions.”
The announcement that Pence was ending his campaign shocked the event’s organizers.
“It was never mentioned,” said Matt Brooks, the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, per The Hill. “I was surprised, and look, I mean, he picked an incredibly appropriate audience to do this. The heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all that Mike Pence [has] done in his years of public service was evident, and everybody has appreciated what he’s done and [looks] forward to what he’s going to be doing next.”
Governor Ron DeSantis of Floria, who is also campaigning for the presidency, spoke at the event shortly after Pence’s announcement.
After news of his announcement broke, Trump told a crowd at a rally in Las Vegas that Pence should endorse him.
“You know why? Because I had a great, successful presidency and he was the vice president,” said Trump, per Axios. “I chose him, made him vice president.”
“But … people in politics can be very disloyal. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he added.
Pence is the latest presidential candidate to end his bid for the White House. Radio host Larry Elder suspended his campaign on Oct. 26.