Mike Pence says he's 'confident we'll have better choices' than Trump in the 2024 presidential election: 'The times call for different leadership'
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday said he's "confident" there will be "better choices" than former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election.
Pence, who served under Trump from 2017 to 2021, said that the cohort of candidates who could potentially enter the Republican primary would offer an alternative to the former president, who still enjoys a high degree of popularity among the GOP base.
"Well, I think the times call for different leadership. And I'm confident we'll have better choices than my old running mate come 2024," the former vice president told NBC News during an interview.
As it relates to his own potential campaign, Pence said that he was still mulling over whether he'd pursue a 2024 bid.
"I'm always very humbled when, when people ask about our future. And we've been traveling around the country over the last few years, we've gotten a lot of encouragement to consider entering the race for President of the United States and we're giving a prayerful consideration," he said.
"I do think we have time. I like what Ronald Reagan said many years ago when he offered — the American people have a funny way of letting you know if they want you to run for president," he continued to say. "So, we're listening, we're reflecting, we're talking to friends."
Pence during the interview said that he had not spoken to Trump lately, but stated that many people across the country wanted to see a return to the former president's policies, which he played a major role in shaping during his time as vice president.
"As I've traveled around the country, I've heard two things. Number one, I've heard countless Americans tell me that they want to get back to the policies of the Trump-Pence administration," the former vice president said, pointing to the economy and tax reform.
Pence noted that voters he has spoken to also "want to see us and our politics return to the kind of civility and respect that Americans show one another every day."
"I'm very confident that Republican primary voters are going to choose the right standard bearer for this moment in our nation's history," he added.
While Trump brought a no holds barred approach to the Oval Office, Pence often served as a negotiator who could broker legislative deals and further cultivate the sorts of congressional relationships that the then-president did not possess given his background outside of the government sphere.
If Pence does jump into the race in the coming weeks, he'll join Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the only two major candidates currently competing for the Republican presidential nomination.