Pence promises incumbent GOP governors facing Trump-approved challengers that he 'has their back'
Donald Trump and Mike Pence at the White House. (CNN/Screenshot)

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump's attempts to only get Republican lawmakers who support him re-elected will be running into an unexpected roadblock.

That would be former Vice President Mike Pence.

As the report notes, Trump is handing out endorsements left and right and, in many cases, is picking challengers to the incumbents in the hopes of making the GOP even more beholden to him.

The report notes that many Republican governors are keeping their distance from Trump who not only lost the White House in 2020 -- but had a hand in the loss of the House and the Senate during his four years in office.

According to the Journal's Michael Bender, "Republican governors around the country have flashed streaks of independence based mainly on political calculations that they are better off giving priority to local issues and constitutional obligations. As a result, about half of the 16 Republican governors up for re-election next year also face primary challenges from opponents endorsed by the former president or otherwise inspired by him."

The report goes on to note that Pence, who has presidential aspirations of his own, told governors in a private meeting that he will support them -- even if that means opposing the man who picked him as his running mate back in 2016.

During his address, Pence stated, "I want to be clear. I'm going to be supporting incumbent Republican governors."

Add to that, Bender wrote, the GOP governors are closing ranks and supporting each other, with the Journal report stating, "Several said in interviews that the group has grown closer during repeated governors-only calls during the pandemic."

According to one Democratic observer, the rift between Trump and some of the Republican governors is good news for Democratic challengers.

"These extreme primary challengers are going to push Republican governors further to the right and out of the mainstream," explained David Turner, a spokesperson for the Democratic Governors Association. "The political environment is only going to improve for Democrats."

You can read more here.