Ex-Vice President Mike Pence will declare his candidacy for the White House next week, challenging his former boss Donald Trump in an increasingly crowded Republican primaries.
On Wednesday June 7, the day of his 64th birthday, the curator will publish a video to formalize his entry into the running, will participate in a meeting in the city of Des Moines in Iowa and will end the day on a set of the CNN channel, entrusted relatives, on condition of anonymity, to several media.
Evangelical Christian, fierce opponent of abortion, Mike Pence had helped Donald Trump to conquer the religious right by being his running mate during the presidential campaign of 2016.
After years of unwavering loyalty, he changed his tune because of the assault on the Capitol, which rocked American democracy on January 6, 2021.
On that day, Mike Pence led, in as vice-president, the session in Congress, during which the elected officials had to certify the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential election of 2020. Although he had only a ceremonial role, Donald Trump had insisted that he refuses to validate the Democrat's election.
The former governor of Indiana did not comply, which earned him strong enmity among the billionaire's supporters. Entering the Capitol by force, some had called to “hang” Mike Pence, who had to hide in haste.
Since then, he has judged that the president's words had been “irresponsible” and had “endangered” him. He also believed that history would hold Donald Trump “responsible” for this attack.
“Help me God”
The split between the two men jeopardizes the chances of Mike Pence, whom many activists loyal to Donald Trump continue to consider a “traitor”.
The man with the wise white lock peaks around 3, 8% of voting intentions, far behind the former president (53.2%), according to the average of the latest polls carried out by the RealClearPolitics site.
He is also left behind by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (22.4%), which is also betting on a very conservative speech, but in a more offensive tone, as well as a hair by the former UN ambassador Nikki Haley (4.4%).
However, he has been preparing his candidacy for months.
After releasing a book entitled “So help me God” (“May God help me”, untranslated), the former radio host traveled the country, increasing the number of speeches in states likely to make a difference in the Republican primaries.
Two weeks ago, its allies launched an exploratory campaign committee “Committed to America” for the support and raise funds.
Next week, another Republican figure, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 60, is also expected to enter the race for the Republican nomination. He, too, was close to Donald Trump before cutting ties after the Capitol attack.
They join a growing field of candidates — which also includes the only African-American Republican senator Tim Scott, ex-Governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson and business leader Vivek Ramaswamy — which could favor the dispersion of votes and, ultimately, Donald Trump.
But, at 76 years, the former real estate magnate is under indictment in New York for accounting embezzlement and is the subject of several legal investigations for his role in the assault on the Capitol or his management of the archives of the White House.
The winner of the Republican primary will likely face 80-year-old President Biden, who plans to run for a second term.