Former Vice President Mike Pence, who spent four years dutifully serving President Donald J. Trump but refused to carry out Mr. Trump’s demand that he block the 2020 election results, ended his presidential bid on Saturday, with a final appeal for his party to return to conservative principles and resist the “siren song of populism.”
The surprise announcement came at the end of his remarks before a crowd of Jewish Republican donors in Las Vegas, and was met with gasps of surprise. Mr. Pence had received a warm welcome and a standing ovation, and opened his speech with a full-throated endorsement of Israel’s military operations in Gaza.
Then, he pivoted to a more “personal note,” saying that, after much prayer and deliberation, he had decided to drop out of the race.
“It’s become clear to me that this is not my time,” he told the crowd of 1,500, promising to “never leave the fight for conservative values.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.