Trump and Pence Stump for Rival Arizona Candidates

Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence held competing campaign events in Arizona on Friday as both publicly backed rival Republican candidates for governor.

Thousands came to see Trump at his rally in support of gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake at Findlay Toyota Center in the state's Prescott Valley where the former president took aim at President Joe Biden.

Pence's visit to Arizona appeared to be more modest as a crowd of around 300 reportedly attended an event in Peoria at a store that manufactures tactical equipment. The former vice president spoke in support of gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson.

Both Republicans are considered likely to run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, while Trump has strongly criticized Pence for his refusal to support efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The former vice president also visited the National Border Patrol Council's office in Tucson on Friday. The Border Patrol union has strongly supported Trump but has endorsed Robson in the governor's race.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey joined Pence and Robson at the events and the former vice president criticized Lake for previously supporting Democratic candidates.

"When you get out and vote for Karrin Taylor Robson, you can send a deafening message that will be heard all across America that the Republican Party is the party of the future," Pence said.

He went on: "Arizona Republicans don't need a governor that supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."

However, Pence did not mention his break with former President Trump or recent revelations from the House of Representatives' Select Committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021.

Speaking at his "Save America" rally in Prescott Valley, Trump criticized Ducey as well as Biden's handling of issues including inflation, and offered his full support for Lake's gubernatorial bid.

Trump said Ducey is "all talk and no action and you'll see what can happen when Kari Lake becomes your governor. It'll be like day and night."

He did not mention his former vice president in his remarks but criticized Arizona state House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican who testified before the House Select Committee about Trump's attempts to pressure him into saying the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.

Trump called Bowers "a RINO coward who participated against the Republican Party" and endorsed his Republican opponent in the GOP's state Senate primary.

The former president also warned that the U.S. could be heading for a recession a similar to the Great Depression that began in 1929.

"We've got get this act in order, we have to get this country going, or we're going to have a serious problem," Trump said.

"Not recession. Recession's a nice word. We're gonna have a much bigger problem than recession. We'll have a depression. You know, in 1929 they had this thing called the Depression, you know that right? You wish, they wish, they could have had a recession only," the former president said.

Newsweek has asked Trump and Pence for comment.

Donald Trump Rallies for Kari Lake
Former President Donald Trump (L) embraces Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake at a "Save America" rally in support of Arizona GOP candidates on July 22, 2022 in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Former Vice President Mike Pence also visited Arizona in supported of rival GOP candidate Karrin Taylor Robson. Mario Tama/Getty Images