Mike Pence launches presidential bid in challenge to Donald Trump

Mike Pence.
Mike Pence was Vice President from 2016 to 2020. Credit: AP

Former US Vice President Mike Pence has launched a presidential campaign putting him up against his former boss, Donald Trump.

Mike Pence served as Donald Trump's vice president between 2016-2020 and the pair appeared to present a united front throughout most of the term.

But during the final days of Mr Trump's presidency when he wouldn't to accept he lost the election, Mr Pence refused to try to block Joe Biden's victory.

Mr Pence filed the paperwork for his bid on Monday and is expected to officially launch his campaign on Wednesday, which is his 64th birthday, the Associated Press reports.

Mike Pence is now running against his former boss. Credit: AP

He recently told US reporters: "The American people want us to return to the policies of the Trump-Pence administration, but I think they want to see leadership that reflects more of the character of the American people."

Mr Trump is also seeking a second term in office and he has been harshly critical of any Republicans who have sought to seek the nomination.

He is consistently the most popular choice among Republicans, with Florida governor Ron DeSantis in second.

Mr Pence often promotes what he calls the successes of his term in office, but if he were to win it is likely the US government would return to more traditional Republican politics, rather than Mr Trump's more firebrand style.

Ron DeSantis is the second favourite to win the Republican nomination. Credit: AP

Mr Pence, who describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order," is a fierce opponent of abortion and trans rights.

Unlike most Republicans seeking the presidential nomination, Mr Pence has argued for more support for Ukraine.

He joins a crowded field of candidates with Mr DeSantis and Mr Trump the most popular but former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson are also in the race.It is also expected former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum will join the race.

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