Secluded in an underground location at the Capitol for his protection on January 6, 2021, MIke Pence looks at a Trump tweet. (CSPAN screen grab from January 6 committee hearing).
Republican candidates for president have spent this year ignoring Nevada, the third state on the nominating calendar, but one of them made a splash in the state Saturday.
More specifically, Mike Pence grabbed the headlines out of the annual Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Summit at the Venetian, where Pence announced he was suspending his campaign.
Pence had campaigned most heavily in Iowa, where he has consistently polled in low single digits. The former vice president was deeply unpopular among some of Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters, because Pence had refused to heed Trump’s wish to reject electoral college votes on January 6, 2021.
Pence never made January 6, or Trump’s role in it, a focus of his campaign, preferring instead to highlight other issues, especially his strong position against abortion rights.
But when January 6 came up, Pence consistently defended his actions. “The American people deserve to know that the president asked me in his request that I reject or return votes,” Pence said during the first Republican debate in August. “He asked me to put him over the Constitution and I chose the Constitution.”
Along with a pair of South Carolinians, former Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott, Pence filed to compete in the Nevada state presidential preference primary on Feb. 6. The other five major candidates, including Trump, opted for the Feb. 8 caucus which will be held by the Nevada State Republican Party.
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