But when he used the same line at the beginning of his speech to the Cheshire County Republican Commission on Thursday night, he meant more of the opposite. He warned that Republicans had crowds in the hundreds getting lost in states in the first presidential primary.
Trump’s former vice president and potential presidential candidate in 2024 must resist “the politics of individuality, the lure of populism unfettered by timeless conservative values.”
He said “part of our party” doesn’t want to deal with the coming financial ruin of entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, a category that includes both Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Republican). ” was explained. He dismissed the Ukrainian war as a failure of American leader DeSantis’ recent claim that it was merely a “territorial dispute”. , a subtle reference to Trump’s condemnation of abortion politics for Republicans’ disappointing 2022 interim results.
This was the unmoored Mike Pence. In early 2016, he initially endorsed Senator Ted Cruz (Republican, Texas), resisting Trump’s growing popularity with his ideological compatriots. He kept a note he wrote to himself that day.
Now was his second chance to be the man he knew before. I’m betting
In an interview with The Washington Post in Manchester a few hours earlier, Pence said, “I think a different style of leadership is called for now.” And I think it calls for a return to the boundaries of politeness that still define how most Americans treat each other every day.”
A Republican who was closely associated with President Trump was Mr. Pence, who always tried to side with the president, often taking on cleanup duties or finishing sharp edges. He vouched for Trump despite his opposition to plans to ban Muslims from traveling to the U.S., sexual assault comments on “Access Hollywood” tapes, and racist attacks on federal judges. bottom. However, the two men finally broke down over the outcome of his 2020 election when Trump attacked Pence on his Twitter on Jan. 6, 2021.
Pence is now back to cultivating the deep ties he built with conservative activists during his time in the House of Representatives. Although he crossed the line of opposing some of President George W. Bush’s spending priorities as being too liberal, he nevertheless found a way to rise through House leadership.
Before Trump, Republicans followed the pecking order when choosing presidential candidates, entertaining iconoclasts for a moment before sacrificing next-in-the-row sizzle: Vice President George H.W. Bush, 1988. Texas Governor George W. Bush in 1996, 2000, Senator John McCain (Arizona Republican) in 2008, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in 2012.
“Pence is in a similar position to Biden in the spring of 2019,” said Tim Phillips, a veteran conservative strategist who previously ran Americans for Prosperity. “Biden wasn’t at the top of the polls. He wasn’t at the top of fundraising. But he was a known entity and knew exactly who he was. Campaign He was in a position to win when the
However, the 2024 campaign has yet to turn in Pence’s favor.Pence has said he plans to make a decision on whether to run this spring, but his official announcement will be this summer. There is a possibility.
Early polls put him in the mid-single digits, with little buzz despite his near-universal name recognition. But while a decision to run is still months away, he’s managed to keep a presidential candidate’s schedule, criss-cross nascent states for private meetings with activists, and stay on top of the old Reagan conservatism. He visits cathedrals, the Goldwater Institute, and Bob Jones to give policy speeches. Universities, American Enterprise Institute, Club for Growth, Liberty University.
He still maintains that Trump was the only Republican who could beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. And he still defends some of Trump’s pivots away from classic conservatism, including criminal justice reform in the First Step Act, which cut some sentencing guidelines.
“I think it changed the public consensus on China. I think the $250 billion tariff on China is an idea whose time has come,” he said in an interview.
In an interview on Saturday’s SiriusXM show Breitbart News, Pence also said that if the Manhattan District Attorney succeeds in indicting charges related to hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, Mr Trump will be killed. said he was “surprised” that he could be arrested. Trump on Saturday angrily called for protests should such arrests occur.
Referring to the special counsel’s investigation and Trump’s first impeachment, Pence said, “It smells like the kind of political prosecution we’ve endured in the age of Russian hoaxes and phone impeachments.
But in another sense, Pence broke with Trump and many fellow Republicans with plans for Tuesday’s principal address to present his proposals for changes to Social Security and Medicare.
“I I know the President has made it clear that he is working with Joe Biden on Social Security and Medicare,” Pence said. “Joe Biden’s policy is bankruptcy.”
Trump’s stance on leaving Medicare and Social Security unchanged has not changed from 2016 to 2020. “We were optimistic that we would achieve it.”
He said history holds Trump accountable for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and his role in inciting the mob that attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. I wrote and spoke publicly. But his lawyer also objected to Pence testifying before a grand jury investigating Trump’s role, saying at least some of what he’s asked is a “speech or debate” on the U.S. Constitution that protects legislation. Claims may be covered by the clause.Action from executive branch investigations.
“I am limited in what I can say,” Pence said.
When asked in Manchester he would still be running on Trump’s ticket When the former president took his advice and approved the 2020 election, Pence paused and thought for a moment.
“What a wonderful hypothesis,” he said without answering.
He then recounts a story, almost word-for-word from his recent memoir, about a private conversation with Trump in the Oval Office, where Pence stood by the couch near the clock. Told. His proposal for Trump to “bow down” and run again in 2024. A moment of silence on the president’s face.
“He just pointed at me and squinted and walked into the back room,” Pence said of Trump, who didn’t take the advice. increase.”
But many Republican voters remain skeptical of Pence — some die-hard Trump supporters see him as a traitor who refused to overturn the 2020 election and are eager to move past the Trump era. Some people are skeptical of the man who spent all those years squarely standing right behind Trump, chin up.
Republican strategist Sarah Longwell twice identified as evangelical, like Pence, in a recent episode of The Focus Group podcast for the anti-Trump conservative website The Bulwark. shared snippets of a focus group featuring Trump voters. Attendees were more sympathetic to Mr. Pence than some of the non-evangelical groups, but they also didn’t endorse him as the Republican candidate.
Some said they didn’t know much about Pence or what he stands for. One man likened him to President Biden’s much-criticized second Vice President Harris. I can’t name a single thing she did,” said the man.
“Everyone said the same thing about Mike Pence: He would be a great neighbor, but why would anyone vote for him?” Longwell said. “Not only do they not vote for him, nobody will vote for him ”
Pence’s advisers say the presidential campaign is just getting started and he has plenty of time.
“He has 95% name ID, but most people don’t know who he is,” said one Pence adviser, who requested anonymity to speak about the election strategy. “When they meet this guy, they really like him.”
Pence reaches out to voters with frictionless comfort born of thousands of handshakes and grins In countless rooms with voters and activists. He knows how to bar his teeth for a kind half-smile that looks natural in the photo line, he makes eye contact with every voter he meets, garnishes stump speeches with vulgar language, and past He boasts of his three grandchildren born in two years.
At a Keen Best Western bar, excavator operator Ernest White, 38, with a long beard and an empty glass of beer, pence over Trump after meeting the former vice president in person. He said he was ready to choose.
“It just felt good. It felt really good to shake his hand,” White said.
Parker reported from Washington.