Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) called on other members of the Republican 2024 field to exit the race and coalesce around former President Donald Trump. The call came as former Vice President Mike Pence exited the contest.
Daines, who also serves as the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), said that he was “surprised” about Pence’s exit from the race, but that it was “the right move.”
Pence announced that he was leaving the race during the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) convention in Las Vegas.
Daines said that it was “clear President Trump is going to be the nominee for Republicans for president, and the sooner we coalesce around him the better it’s going to be,”
NEW: NRSC Chairman Steve Daines, who is backing trump, said Trump’s rivals should drop out and coalesce, following Pence’s suspension
“it’s clear President Trump is going to be the nominee” https://t.co/NsFcdCHHUU
— Alex Isenstadt (@politicoalex) October 28, 2023
Daines’ unique role in the GOP could help shape not only the presidential race but also planning for crucial 2024 senate races.
Pence said that his decision was done with “much prayer and deliberation.”
He said, “it’s become clear to me this is not my time.”
Despite his former position in the Trump administration, Pence failed to gain momentum against the other candidates.
Pence said, “we always knew this would be an uphill battle, but I have no regrets. The only thing that would have been harder than coming up short would have been if we’d never tried at all.”
He called on supporters to hold fast to what matters faith, family, and the Constitution of the United States of America. I’m proud that our campaign stood firm on America’s role as leader of the free world.”
With Pence’s exit from the race, a number of other candidates remain in the Republican contest who poll under 5%.
Former President Donald Trump holds a significant lead in the race, with all recent major polls placing him at more than 50%. While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has often ranked second, he remains significantly behind the former president. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has increased in a number of recent polls but is also well behind Trump.