Mike Pence files paperwork for White House run

Former Vice President Mike Pence filed paperwork Monday to run for president, setting up a showdown in the race for the Republican nomination with his ex-boss, former President Donald Trump.

Mr. Pence plans to officially launch his campaign on Wednesday in Iowa and is expected to headline a CNN town hall later in the day.

Mr. Pence, 63, who has also served as Indiana governor and congressman, faces a steep rise in the GOP nominating contest.

He is barely registering in the polls and has fallen out of favor with a wide range of GOP voters because he refused to pander to Mr. Trump’s stolen campaign claims.

Yet Mr Pence sees a path to victory that centers on a message rooted in traditional Conservative principles of limited government. He will seek to strike a balance between touting the achievements of the Trump-Pence administration while distancing himself from Mr. Trump where he can on policy.

Mr Pence did just that over the weekend, criticizing Mr Trump for praising North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un for securing a seat on the World Health Organization board.

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“Whether it’s my former running mate or anyone else, no one should praise the dictator in North Korea or the Russian leader who launched an unprovoked war of aggression in Ukraine,” Mr. .pence. “This is a time when we need to make it clear to the world that we stand for freedom and stand with those who stand for freedom.”

Mr. Pence also parted ways with Mr. Trump by advocating changes to Social Security, which has enough funds to pay full benefits for another 11 years, on a stronger long-term financial footing.

Mr. Pence will share headlines this week with former Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum. Both are expected to enter the GOP race, widening the field to 12 candidates.

Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, meanwhile, announced on Monday that he is forwarding his candidacy for the GOP nomination, ending months of speculation about his future and whether his moderate politics will sell out. in a primary race.

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Mr Sununu also called on candidates who fail to gain ground in the polls to drop out of the race by Christmas to increase the chances of an alternative to Mr Trump emerging.

“The stakes are too high for a crowded group to hand over the nomination to a candidate who only gets 35% of the vote, and I will help ensure that does not happen,” Mr Sununu tweeted.

Mr. Pence is voting in the low numbers nationally and in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two stages of the Republican nominating calendar.

Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, welcomed Mr. Pence into the race the same way he answered other GOP White House hopefuls: by tying him to Mr. Trump.

“Pence pushed an extreme agenda in Congress and the Indiana State House before becoming Donald Trump’s MAGA wingman for four years and then campaigning for Holocaust deniers last year,” Ms. Harrison. “Pence’s entry will undoubtedly drive a growing MAGA 2024 GOP field even further toward the extremes.”

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Dave Boyer and Tom Howell Jr. contributed to this story.

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