Former Vice President Mike Pence is finding himself in hot water with conservative Republicans after criticizing former President Donald Trump for policies he believes contributed to the recent attack on Israel by Hamas. Pence, speaking on CNN, lumped Trump and some GOP presidential rivals together with President Joe Biden, accusing them all of contributing to an “American retreat as Leader of the Free World.”
While conservatives were quick to condemn the Iran-backed attack on America’s ally and mourn the loss of civilian lives, many criticized Pence for playing politics during a tragic event. Supporters of Trump have been particularly critical of Pence since his refusal to intervene in the certification of electoral delegates on January 6th, an action that led to the Capitol riots and strained Pence’s relationship with the former president.
Despite all his posturing, Pence’s standing in the polls remains unfavorable. Over 58 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable opinion of him, while only 28.7 percent have a favorable one, according to Five Thirty Eight. Pence is currently polling at a mere 4.2% among GOP voters, placing him fifth behind popular figures like Governor Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and, of course, President Trump himself.
🚨BREAKING: Mike Pence blames Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron Desantis for Hamas attack on Israel.
“This is what happens when we have leading voices like Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis signaling retreat from America's role as leader of the free world."… pic.twitter.com/uNJ9sKR8zq
— Ian Jaeger (@IanJaeger29) October 8, 2023
It’s no surprise that Pence’s criticism of Trump has not resonated well with conservatives. Many Republicans see Trump as a strong leader who prioritizes American interests, while Pence’s remarks seem to echo the sentiments of establishment politicians who prioritize international relations over domestic concerns. It’s clear that Pence’s pivot away from Trump has not won him any popularity points within his own party, and his diminishing relevance in the polls reflects this.
The recent events in Israel and Ukraine serve as a stark reminder of the importance of American leadership on the world stage. It’s unfortunate that some politicians, like Pence, choose to play politics and point fingers rather than focusing on the bigger picture. Now more than ever, the Republican Party and America as a whole must decide whether they will stand strong and unapologetic as the leader of the free world, or retreat into isolationism and compromise our national security.