Former Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview Sunday that candidates who want to be 2024 Republican contenders should announce their bids by June.
“I think anyone that would be serious about seeking the Republican nomination would need to be in this contest by June,” Pence told CBS News in an interview clip.
The June deadline would apply to his own possible candidacy, he said. Pence has not formally announced he is running for president but has made repeated overtures in that direction.
“When we have an announcement to make, it will be well before late June,” Pence said.
When asked about a possible presidential bid, Pence noted, Well, I’m here in Iowa.” Iowa is considered a key presidential battleground state and has historically been an important state for the presidential nomination process for both Republicans and Democrats, although Democrats last year voted to deny Iowa its first-in-the-nation presidential process and replaced the state with South Carolina to lead the contest.
Pence was also asked by NBC News on Saturday about when he would possibly announce a 2024 bid. “I promise when we have anything to announce, I’ll let you know, but I will tell you, we’re getting a tremendous amount of encouragement,” he said.
A former governor of Indiana, Pence became vice president under President Donald Trump, and he also has represented Indiana in the U.S. House. However, after the 2020 election, relations between Trump and Pence soured after Pence refused to reject the election results as he presided over their certification.
Pence said in a statement last year that “under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our election. And Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024.”
The former vice president was booed in his home state of Indiana earlier this month when he gave remarks at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual meeting. In response, Pence told the crowd, “I love you too.”
So far, the major Republican candidates who have declared they’re running for president include former Trump, former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. Polls suggest that Trump remains the most popular figure among Republican voters by a significant margin, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who hasn’t publicly announced his candidacy, coming in second.
Last week, conservative radio host Larry Elder announced he’s running for president. And weeks before that, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a fervent anti-Trump Republican, announced a 2024 bid, too.
There have also been rumors and reports that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) could enter the 2024 race. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced they would pass on campaigns.
Trump and his campaign appear to view DeSantis as his only serious challenger, with Trump often targeting the governor via criticism on social media. Trump’s super PAC, MAGA Inc., has been airing advertisements on TV highlighting DeSantis’s votes to cut Medicare and Social Security.
According to an analysis from Ballotpedia, Pence has received no endorsements from any senators or House members. So far, Trump has received 66 noteworthy endorsements from representatives, governors, and senators to date.