Mike Pence says he won’t endorse Trump’s presidential bid

Mike Pence said Friday that he would not endorse former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race, months after the former vice president ended his own bid for the presidency.

“It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,” Pence said of his former running mate during a Fox News interview this afternoon. “Donald Trump is pursuing and articulating an agenda that is at odds with the conservative agenda that we governed on during our four years, and that’s why I cannot in good conscience endorse Donald Trump in this campaign.”

Trump’s former running mate said that while he’s “incredibly proud of the record of our administration,” he and Trump diverge on a series of issues.

“During my presidential campaign, I made it clear that there were profound differences between me and President Trump on a range of issues, and not just our difference on my constitutional duties that I exercised on January 6th,” Pence said.

Among their differences, Pence cited the national debt, attitudes about abortion rights, and Trump’s reversal on legislation that would mandate the sale of TikTok, whose parent company is China-based ByteDance.

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment on Friday afternoon.

Trump has drawn criticism from abortion opponents for declining to support a federal abortion ban and calling Florida’s six-week ban “too harsh.”

In spite of that criticism, Trump claimed credit for the overruling of Roe v. Wade in 2022, highlighting his role in nominating three Supreme Court justices who voted to end the precedent that held there was a constitutional right to abortion.

Earlier this week, the former president also reversed course on legislation that would ban TikTok unless it cuts ties with ByteDance, an arrangement that has drawn national security concerns on Capitol Hill. Trump said on Monday he now opposes a ban on the video-sharing social media platform “because there are a lot of people who talk that love it.”

During his presidential campaign last year, Pence suggested during an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that Trump is “walking away” from conservative principles, including “a clear commitment to the right to life,” and accused Trump of holding a position on the national debt that “is identical to Joe Biden’s.”

Many former 2024 rivals have endorsed Trump since ending their own bids. After ending his bid following the Iowa caucuses in January, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy endorsed Trump. Days later, after suspending his own presidential bid, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis endorsed the former president.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., a former presidential candidate and potential vice presidential pick, also backed Trump’s presidential bid.

But others have not lined up behind the presumptive nominee. Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, who ended her presidential bid this month, hasn’t endorsed Trump and told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” earlier this month that she’s no longer bound by a pledge made to the Republican National Committee to support the GOP presidential nominee. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has ruled out voting for Trump, though he added that he “can’t imagine” voting for President Joe Biden.

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