By Shawna Mizelle, CNN
“Mr. Pence, if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president in 2024, will you vote for him?” Pence was asked while taking questions from students at Georgetown University.
The former vice president paused and smiled slightly.
“Well, there might be somebody else I’d prefer more,” he said, drawing laughter and applause from the audience.
Pence has been coy about his plans for 2024. He has long been viewed as a potential aspirant for the Republican nomination, but has not formally declared a bid and would almost certainly face strong opposition from Trump, whose supporters he would need in a primary fight. In the Trump White House, Pence was fiercely loyal in public through the constant controversies that defined the administration, but in the wake of the January 6 riot at the US Capitol — in which Trump supporters chanted to hang the then-vice president — he has occasionally criticized his former boss, most notably in February, when he publicly denounced Trump’s election lies.
“President Trump is wrong,” Pence said at the time, referring to the false claim that Pence, in his capacity as vice president, had the authority to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes. “I had no right to overturn the election.”
Trump, for his part, has said Pence “very greatly disappointed me” on the day the electoral votes were certified.
In the midterm season, Trump and Pence have occasionally found themselves in a proxy fight, supporting opposing candidates in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin. Trump campaigned with a slate of candidates who have parroted his lies about widespread fraud in the 2020 election as Pence attempted to steer the GOP’s focus away from relitigating 2020 and toward traditional conservative policies.
Still, Pence has been careful not to completely tear himself away from Trump, who has strongly indicated that he intends to run a third presidential campaign.
“You know, what I can tell you is I have every confidence that the Republican Party is going to sort out leadership,” Pence said on Wednesday, adding that his focus has been on the upcoming midterm elections in November. “But after that, we’ll be thinking about the future, ours and the nation’s.”
Concluding his answer on who he would support for 2024, Pence said, “I’ll keep you posted, OK?”
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