(BBC) Former US Vice President Mike Pence has withdrawn from the 2024 presidential race, saying “this is not my time”.
He made the announcement at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon.
“We always knew this would be an uphill battle, but I have no regrets,” he wrote in a statement.
Mr. Pence is the first major Republican candidate to suspend his campaign in a race led by former President Donald Trump.
Mr. Pence had languished in recent polls and had struggled to gain the support of Republican voters.
The former vice president’s campaign had also racked up large amounts of debt, with Mr. Pence ending September owing $621,000 (£512,038) and having only US$1.2m (£989,446) in the bank – significantly less than other Republican rivals.
“I am leaving this campaign, but I will never leave the fight for conservative values,” he wrote in a statement addressed to his supporters.
The 64-year-old lost the support of many Republican voters when he publicly broke with Mr. Trump over the 6 January Capitol riot in 2021, and when he presided over the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election results in Congress.
Mr. Trump admonished Mr. Pence for lacking “courage” when he refused to overturn the Democratic leader’s election victory.
Some rioters were heard chanting “hang Mike Pence” as they stormed the halls of Congress in 2021, and since then many Trump loyalists have viewed him as a traitor.
The former vice-president said in March that Mr. Trump’s encouragement of the rioters had “endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day”.
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