Mike Pence has officially launched his 2024 presidential campaign in Iowa, but not without some controversy. In a video released as part of the campaign kick-off, the former Vice President took a shot at his former boss, President Donald Trump, invoking conservative icon Ronald Reagan and casting himself as a similar figure.
The video, which was first released on Fox News, shows Pence speaking about the importance of conservative values and American exceptionalism. “This is a time for choosing,” he said. “It’s a choice between a political party that wants to tear America down and a party that wants to build America up.”
Later in the video, Pence takes what appears to be a veiled shot at Trump, saying, “We must choose leaders who have that same vision of the future as Ronald Reagan.” Reagan was known for his optimistic vision of America’s future and his emphasis on small government and free markets.
The comments drew a response from Trump himself, who tweeted, “Mike Pence is a traitor. He betrayed me and our great country. He will never be President!”
Pence’s campaign also faced some pushback from within the Republican Party, with some party leaders criticizing him for distancing himself from Trump. “Mike Pence was Trump’s loyalist for four years, and now he expects us to forget that?” said one anonymous party official.
Despite the controversy, Pence remains a major contender in the crowded field of potential Republican candidates for 2024. He has already started making campaign stops in Iowa and other key swing states, and his message of conservative values and American exceptionalism is likely to resonate with many Republican voters.