Mike Pence ends presidential bid at Republican Jewish Conference

As former vice president Mike Pence drops out of the Republican race for president, remaining candidates show support for Israel.

By Mindy Rubenstein, World Israel News

In a surprising announcement made at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual gathering in Las Vegas, former Vice President Mike Pence revealed his decision to drop his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

The move comes as Pence struggled to gain traction in a race overshadowed by his former boss and political rival, Donald Trump.

Standing before a receptive audience at the conference, Pence said, “It’s become clear to me: This is not my time. So after much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today.”

Pence did not mention Donald Trump by name during his speech.

During the same conference, the remaining Republican presidential hopefuls expressed their support for Israel, particularly in the context of the ongoing conflict with Hamas.

Trump, considered the frontrunner for the nomination, characterized the conflict between Israel and Hamas as “a fight between civilization and savagery, between decency and depravity, and between good and evil.”

He pledged to restore “peace through strength” if re-elected and “stop World War III.”

Nikki Haley, a candidate and former U.S. ambassador to the UN, supported Trump’s pro-Israel stance but cautioned against his chaotic leadership style, emphasizing the need for a leader who can “put things back together.”

If elected, Haley said she would “change the official federal definition of antisemitism to include denying Israel’s right to exist,” adding she would strip tax breaks from schools that do not combat antisemitism.

“College campuses are allowed to have free speech, but they are not free to spread hate that supports terrorism,” she said. “Federal law requires schools to combat antisemitism. We will give this law teeth and we will enforce it.”

Vivek Ramaswamy, another candidate, suggested that America should focus on domestic affairs and avoid foreign military entanglements. He also expressed a desire for the Israeli military to take strong action against Hamas leaders.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, also in the running, described the recent Hamas attack on Israel as “the most deadly attack against Jews since the Holocaust.” He proposed measures to combat rising anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses, including pulling funding for universities and canceling visas for pro-Palestinian foreign students.

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In response, Senator Tim Scott, another presidential candidate, said, “We need cultural chemotherapy to fight this cancer. Any student with a visa who calls for genocide should be deported.”