Former Vice President Mike Pence is dropping his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, ending his campaign for the White House after struggling to raise money and gain traction in the polls.
"After much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today," Pence said at the Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas. "We always knew this would be an uphill battle, but I have no regrets," he said.
Pence becomes the first major candidate to leave a race that has been dominated by his former boss-turned-rival, Donald Trump.
The decision, more than two months before the Iowa caucuses that he had staked his campaign on, saves Pence from the embarrassment of failing to qualify for the third Republican primary debate, Nov. 8 in Miami.
But the withdrawal is a huge blow for a politician who spent years biding his time as Trump’s most loyal lieutenant, only to be scapegoated during their final days in office when Trump became convinced that Pence somehow had the power to overturn the results of the 2020 election and keep both men in office — not something a vice president could do.
While Pence averted a constitutional crisis by rejecting the scheme, he drew Trump’s fury, as well as the wrath of many of Trump’s supporters who believed his lies and still see Pence as a traitor.