Asked by the New York Times in a recent interview whether he'd run for president in 2024 even if former President Trump decides to run, Mike Pence wouldn't rule it out. "We’ll go where we’re called," he said of himself and his wife, with whom he said would pray about it: "That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things." The Times says Trump's former vice president has been laying "groundwork" for a presidential run for a while, distancing himself from the former POTUS and criticizing Trump's insistence that he won the 2020 election. But, after a number of high-profile speeches, Pence on Monday took what the newspaper calls "his boldest and most unambiguous step" against Trump by stumping with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp before Tuesday's primary.
Trump, of course, is angry Kemp didn't go along with his attempts to steal the election, and he backs former Sen. David Perdue in the state's gubernatorial race. Trump gave a statement to the Times through a spokesperson, who said Trump "salvaged" Pence's political career when he was "set to lose a governor's race in 2016" and was instead chosen as Trump's running mate. "Now, desperate to chase his lost relevance, Pence is parachuting into races, hoping someone is paying attention," the rep says. "The reality is, President Trump is already 82-3 with his endorsements, and there’s nothing stopping him from saving America in 2022 and beyond."
As for Pence's appearance with Kemp on Monday, CNN reports that he told a crowd of supporters, "When you say yes to Governor Brian Kemp tomorrow, you will send a deafening message all across America that the Republican Party is the party of the future." Neither Kemp, who has a significant lead in the polls, nor Pence mentioned Trump by name, but they did mention likely Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams: "I'm here because Brian Kemp is the only candidate in tomorrow's primary who has already defeated Stacey Abrams, whether she knows it or not," Pence said. "And I'm here because Stacey Abrams can never be governor of the great state of Georgia." (Read more Mike Pence stories.)