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Pence Fundraising Collapses Ahead of First Debate

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former Vice President Mike Pence has had a high degree of difficulty resonating with voters since he launched his 2024 presidential bid, pitting him against the GOP frontrunner and his former boss, Donald Trump.

Now, his campaign has gotten more bad news just weeks ahead of the first Republican primary debate.

“Pence’s campaign and super political action committee (PAC) raised $3.85 million in the second quarter of this year, casting doubt on his debate eligibility,” The Daily Caller reported on Saturday.

According to a Pence advisor who spoke to Politico on Friday, $1.1 million was raised through his campaign directly, while an additional $2.6 million was generated via his super PAC. Pence declared his candidacy on June 7.

Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who are currently leading the pack, gathered an impressive $35 million and $20 million, respectively. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who lags slightly behind Pence by three points in the Real Clear Politics polling average, managed to secure over $6 million during the same period, the Daily Caller noted further, adding:

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The lack of funding has caused some to doubt whether Pence qualifies for the first Republican Debate in August, according to the Washington Post. Candidates are required to have 40,000 unique donors and poll over 1% in three qualifying national polls to be eligible for the first debate. Pence has achieved the polling requirements, but there has reportedly been no claim by the campaign the donor requirement has been satisfied.

The Post noted that during a candidate forum hosted by Blaze Media and moderated by former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday, Pence said: “We’ll make the debate stage.”

“Six candidates have indicated they have reached debate qualifications thus far, including Trump, DeSantis, Scott, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy,” The DC added.

On Friday, Pence took part in the 2024 GOP presidential candidate forum hosted by Carlson called the Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, when he was put on the spot with a blunt question about that fateful day that he initially declined to address directly.

Pence has run a campaign in which he has largely distanced himself from his former boss, though it hasn’t resonated with GOP voters year, based on polling.

At one point, Carlson gave Pence the opportunity to speak to events on that fateful day that turned Trump, and many of Trump’s supporters, against him with a burning question that has been on the minds of many of the former president’s allies.

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“I have to ask you, since you were a witness to and in some unintentional way a participant in one of the most widely covered events in American history, Jan. 6: What was that? Do you think that was an insurrection?” Carlson asked.

Pence took in a deep breath and sighed before first moving to thank the event’s organizers in what appeared to be a clear sign he was stalling.

“Can I just take a moment just to say thank you?” he asked before going on to mention some pro-life protections that were recently signed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.

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But eventually, the former VP did get around to answering Carlson’s question.

“Now, as to that day, let me just say: All I know for sure, having lived through it at the Capitol, is that it was a tragic day,” Pence said.

He added: “I’ve never used the word ‘insurrection,’ Tucker, over the last two years. But it was a riot that took place at the Capitol that day.”

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