Pence kicks off 2024 White House bid with speech in Iowa

ANKENY — Former Vice President Mike Pence says he’s entering the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential race because he has a different vision for the country and the party than Donald Trump.

We are here because we know that Iowa was the right place to start our engines for the great American comeback,” Pence said, to cheers from a crowd in Iowa.

Pence kicked off his campaign over the noon hour Wednesday with a rally in Ankeny, calling the former president reckless.

“We need leaders who can distinguish between starting fights and finishing them,” Pence said, “between the politics of outrage and standing firm.”

Pence spent several minutes discussing the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on the day Congress confirmed Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Pence, as he’s said before, stressed that he had no authority to reject or overturn the results.

“The American people must know leaders in the Republican Party we will keep our oath to support and defend the constitution even when it is not in our political interests to do so,” Pence said. “Anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the constitution should never be president of the United States again.”

Pence served 12 years in the U.S. House and was governor of Indiana when Trump chose him as his 2016 running mate. Pence, who has begun referring to Trump as “my former running mate,” told the crowd in Ankeny he’s “incredibly proud” of the Trump Administration’s conservative agenda. “As your vice president, I was proud to stand by President Donald Trump every single day when we made America great again,” Pence said.

But Pence has been cautioning Republicans to resist the siren song of populism and return to the roots of the Reagan Revolution, leading with tax cuts and repealing regulations. “We must elect a new Republican president to chart a course for our nation guided by our timeless principles,” Pence said.

Pence also appeared at a televised town hall last night on CNN.