Trump Says Pence Wouldn't Be His 2024 Running Mate: 'I Don't Think the People Would Accept It'

Pence has said Trump was “wrong” to claim the vice president had a role in overturning the 2020 election and also took a swipe at the former president for his praise of Vladimir Putin

donald trump; mike pence
Donald Trump (L); Mike Pence. Photo: Getty (2)

Donald Trump hasn't officially announced a second run for the White House. But if he does launch a campaign for 2024, Mike Pence won't likely be on the ticket.

"I don't think the people would accept it," the former president said Tuesday in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

Trump, 75, called Pence a "really fine person" and said at one point, "I still like Mike," but indicated their relationship deteriorated after the former vice president refused to participate in a plan to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which the Republicans lost to Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

"Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end," Trump told the Examiner. "I haven't spoken to him in a long time."

Trump has repeatedly and wrongly said that as vice president, Pence could have — and should have — somehow rejected the electoral votes presented during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, because of baseless claims of fraud, which the former president and his supporters asserted after their election loss.

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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

"Mike thought he was going to be a human conveyor belt, that no matter how fraudulent the votes, you have to send them up to the Old Crow," Trump said, using his preferred nickname for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Referring to efforts by some lawmakers to reform the process of counting electoral votes, Trump again suggested Pence could have acted on Jan. 6.

"They are feverishly working to try and get it so that the vice president cannot do what Mike said he couldn't do," he told the Examiner.

In a Feb. 4 speech, Pence, 62, distanced himself from Trump's ongoing fabrications about overturning the election because of non-existent widespread voter fraud.

"President Trump is wrong," he said. "I had no right to overturn the election."

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Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol when rioters supporting Trump's plan disrupted the electoral vote count. Some chanted "Hang Mike Pence" as the vice president went into hiding.

Trump later said the threats against Pence were "common sense" given that "people were very angry."

As Pence explores his own potential 2024 run for the White House, he has been selective about making distinctions between his and Trump's stances on certain issues.

For example: While the former president has called Russia's Vladimir Putin "genius" and "very savvy" for his launch of an invasion in Ukraine, Pence reportedly told Republican donors at a recent retreat that "apologists for Putin" don't belong in their party.

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