Mike Pence Rejects Trump In Final Break From Trumpism

Source: Flickr/Trump White House Archived

Pence makes his final break from the Trumpism he once championed. The former vice president’s refusal to endorse Donald Trump came as no surprise to those aware of their deep differences. Still, the move sent shockwaves through the political world as Pence uncoupled the Reagan conservatism he’s long espoused from its brief marriage of convenience with Trump’s populism.

Now, Pence aims to reclaim his ideological roots, cozying up to Texas conservatives and donors. But how will rank-and-file Republicans receive Pence without his hype man persona? His journey back to Reaganism means leaving Trumpism behind for good.

Pence’s Rocky Relationship With Trump

Pence and Trump have always had an uneasy alliance despite Pence’s loyalty as vice president. Their ideological differences were clear from the start but were pushed aside for political gain.

Source: Flickr/GPA Photo Archive

Over time, their relationship grew increasingly strained.

Pence’s Reaganism vs. Trump’s Populism

Long before joining the Trump ticket, Pence considered himself a “Reagan conservative.” He believed in limited government, strong national defense, and traditional values.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Trump’s populist “America First” agenda was a stark contrast. While Pence came to accept and even champion some of Trump’s policies, their core beliefs remained quite different.

A Marriage of Convenience

When Trump tapped Pence as his running mate in 2016, it was a political marriage of convenience. Pence brought credibility with evangelicals and traditional Republicans. Trump needed that to win. Pence got the opportunity of a lifetime.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

However, their relationship was awkward and strained from the beginning. Pence often looked uncomfortable praising Trump or defending his behavior and rhetoric. According to reports, Trump frequently belittled Pence in private.

The Final Split

By 2019, Pence was signaling his independence and distancing himself from the administration. He started giving speeches promoting Reaganism and traditional conservatism over Trumpism.

Source: Pxhere

In 2024, Pence made the final break, refusing to endorse Trump’s re-election bid. He cited their “deep differences” and a desire to advance his policy vision.

Backing Cruz Over Trump in 2016

Pence’s decision to disregard Trump in 2024 mirrors his choice eight years earlier to endorse Ted Cruz during the Republican primary.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

At the time, Pence called Cruz a “principled conservative” who would advance “less government, less taxes, traditional values, and a strong military”—the same priorities Pence cited last week in refusing to back Trump.

A Shared Ideological Vision

Pence and Cruz, who competed for evangelical voters in 2016, shared a vision for governing that emphasized limited government, social conservatism, and hawkish foreign policy.

Source: Pix4free/Nick Youngson

While Trump also appealed to evangelicals and conservatives, his populist style and rhetoric were a sharp contrast. Pence calculated that Cruz was more ideologically aligned and a safer standard-bearer for the conservative movement.

The Path Not Taken

Pence’s decision in April 2016 was a pivotal moment. Had he backed Trump then, Pence likely wouldn’t have been selected as vice president.

Source: Flickr/Garry Knight

Instead, he hitched his wagon to Cruz, a fellow Midwesterner closer in age, experience, and outlook. At the time, Pence said he and Cruz had “forged a friendship” based on shared principles.

Lasting Ties to Conservatism

Pence’s ties to conservatism run deep, and his allegiance ultimately lies with the movement, not any single politician.

Source: Ph1 H. J. Gerwien

While Pence was a loyal soldier for Trump over four years in the White House, he never fully embraced Trumpism. Pence’s non-endorsement of Trump shows his view of himself as a “Reagan conservative” hasn’t changed, even if the political landscape around him has.

Checking Trump’s Impulses

Behind the scenes, Pence worked to check some of Trump’s impulses and push for more traditionally conservative policies.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Pence also pushed Trump to take more hardline stances on abortion and religious freedom. However, Pence’s influence was limited, and he failed to sway Trump on some key issues like trade policy and immigration reform.

A Calculated Move By Not Endorsing Trump

Pence’s non-endorsement was a carefully orchestrated political move. His team spent weeks planning how to announce this news for maximum impact.

Source: Pix4Free

When Pence appeared on Fox News, he read a prepared 318-word statement explaining his reasons for not endorsing Trump. This statement emphasized their “deep differences” and framed Pence as taking a principled stand for traditional Republican values.

Pence Emerging as an Unlikely “Hero” for Rejecting Trump

For years, Mike Pence stood by Donald Trump’s side, defending him and championing his policies. Now, in a shocking turn of events, the former vice president has rejected his old running mate.

Source: Ted Eytan

Pence’s bold move has made him an unlikely hero for Trump’s opposition. Both Biden’s campaign and Republican Voters Against Trump are using Pence’s words in their ads.

Advancing American Freedom Group Focuses on Traditional GOP Values

Advancing American Freedom, Pence’s new nonprofit organization, shows he wants to promote traditional conservative principles that seem to be fading.

Source: Advancing American Freedom

According to Victor Smith, a donor and board member, “What he wants to do is to keep the Reagan flame alive — keeping the main thing the main thing: true, traditional conservative principles that seem to be getting lost.”

Pence Allies See Him Filling Void Left by Trump’s Absence

With Trump out of the picture, Pence’s allies see an opportunity for him to fill the void and promote traditional conservative values.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

The move signals Pence’s intention to focus on shaping policy and promoting principles like limited government, strong national defense, and free markets.

Pence Keeps Low Profile Compared to Other 2024 Hopefuls

While other potential 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls rush to fill the void left by Trump, Pence seems content to lay low and focus on policy.

Source: Anthony Agosti

According to allies, Pence wants to champion traditional conservative values that seem lost in today’s political climate.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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