Trump ‘couldn’t care less’ about Pence declining to endorse him

Former President Trump on Tuesday shrugged off his former vice president’s decision not to endorse his 2024 candidacy.

“I couldn’t care less,” Trump said when asked about Mike Pence’s announcement that he would not back his old boss and two-time running mate.

“We need patriots. We need strong people in our country. Our country is going downhill very fast, very rapidly,” added Trump, who was casting his ballot in the Florida GOP primary. “We need strong people in this country. We don’t need weak people.”

Pence announced Friday that he could not “in good conscience” endorse his two-time running mate, citing a list of policy disagreements and Trump’s conduct around the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“The conservative movement is coming to a crossroads,” Pence said in a statement explaining his decision. “I intend to go forward fighting for the foundational conservative principles our movement has always extolled.”

Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for November’s election, setting up a rematch with President Biden.

Pence was an unflinchingly loyal vice president for Trump throughout their time in the White House, but he emerged as one of the former president’s most outspoken critics during his 2024 GOP primary campaign, which ended last October after he failed to gain traction with the Republican electorate.

Pence has for roughly two years been outspoken that he did not have the authority to reject the 2020 election results on Jan. 6, 2021, despite a pressure campaign from Trump to do so. In launching his campaign, Pence argued Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 were disqualifying.

The former vice president said his differences with Trump go beyond that day, citing Trump’s lack of a plan to confront the national debt, his evasive comments about restrictions on abortion and his recent opposition to a ban on TikTok, something their administration pursued in 2020.

Pence said he would not vote for Biden in November.

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