When former President Donald Trump was asked to list what he considered to be the future leaders of the Republican Party, he quickly dismissed the list of names, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. Obviously not on the list: Mike Pence.
The former vice-president is making a strong return to public life as he looks to enter the White House race in 2024.
He joins conservative organizations, writes op-eds, delivers speeches and introduces a advocacy group that will focus on the encouragement made by the Trump administration.
But Trump’s indifference when talking about Pence during an interview with the podcast earlier this month reflects the unique challenge of the former vice president.
For a man who has made a name for himself as one of Trump’s most outspoken supporters, Pence is now widely accused among many Republicans of his constitutional duty in January to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power to Biden’s administration, a decision that still infuriates Trump.
To win the first term of the Republican presidency, Pence may need to strengthen his loyalty to Trump while defending his decisions in the last days of the presidency when the president lied about widespread voter fraud, contributing to the deadly violence at the US Capitol. If anyone can achieve this undesirable balance, some Republicans say, it’s Pence.
Republican strategist Alice Stewart said that anyone who can authorize Ted Cruz and be Donald Trump’s vice president should not be counted. He also said that you have a way of parting your hair and attaching a needle that you used to pay for in the past.
Pence’s aides often speak in the next presidential election. They insist that he is focused on his family and next year’s mid-term elections, when Republicans are in a good position to reclaim at least one room in Congress. His colleagues say that, in time, anger will subside.
Republican Attorney Jim Banks of Indiana said that he thinks the 2024 era is long gone and if Mike Pence is running for president he will recruit a Republican institution in a way that will make him fight harder and has already supported the Pence 2024 run.
Pence declined to comment on the matter. For their part, Trump’s aides warn against over-learning of idleness during a podcast interview.
Trump’s adviser Jason Miller said that it wasn’t a special list. However, Trump continued to make fun of Pence in the interview, claiming that Pence falsely has the authority to alter the election results differently, even though he did not.
Trump did not say whether he would seek White House again in 2024. If he does not want to, some Republicans make it clear that they will not win the Pence race. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for example, is already visiting critical states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Since stepping down in January, Pence, who served as governor of Indiana and was a member of Congress before being considered Trump’s ally, has retained a low profile.
He has compiled a portfolio that aims to maintain influence, pay off debts and lay the foundation for presidential expectations.
He has formed a partnership with the Conservative Heritage Foundation and has also been rumored to be the president of the organization, according to two people familiar with the talks.
He joined the Young America’s Foundation and the high-tech office, wrote an op-ed for the Daily Signal in which he continued to lie about the 2020 election, and recently visited a Christian aid organization in North Carolina.
He will make his first public speech since leaving office next month at the annual fundraising meeting of the Palmetto Family Council in South Carolina, another important region.
Pence also spoke about writing a letter, according to aides, has been in ongoing discussions with his evangelical colleagues, and plans to spend the next two years helping candidates for the Republican election as they try to reclaim the size of the House and Senate in 2022.
He also plans to launch a coalition of aid workers and allies who say it will give him a platform to defend the Trump administration record and go back to the policies of the current president as he tries to integrate a traditional conservative party with Trumpism.
Stewart said that he’s doing what he needs to do to lay the groundwork in case he wants to set up an investigative committee.
Pence’s allies see him as Trump’s natural successor, a man who can keep his base in place while defeating urban voters who left the party in large numbers during Trump’s time.
Former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker said that obviously Mike Pence has a very different personality, a very different tone. That may not mean anything.