Amid speculation that he is gearing up for a White House run of his own in 2024, during a Friday visit to Iowa, former Vice President Mike Pence blasted the current administration and many of its policies, saying that President Joe Biden is “intent on transforming America into a European style secular welfare state,” as Fox News reports.
In what was Pence’s first trip to the state since leaving office, the former VP highlighted his conservative bona fides and went on the attack against Biden administration policies in an address to the Family Leadership Summit hosted by a leading Iowa-centered evangelical group.
Speaking to roughly an audience of roughly 1,200 attendees in Des Moines, Pence emphatically declared, “To turn this country around, we need to turn the American people back to God, back to one nation under God,” as Fox News noted.
He also got specific when it comes to what he views as the most significant failures of the current administration thus far, stating, “I came here today to say that after 177 days of open borders, higher taxes, runaway spending, defunding the police, abortion on demand, censoring free speech, canceling our most cherished liberties, I’ve had enough.”
Pence’s stop in Iowa is just the latest in a series of indications that the former vice president is laying the groundwork for a possible 2024 bid for the Republican nomination. Though he spent the early part of the year away from the spotlight amid rumors of a serious rift with former President Donald Trump, his actions since then point to his future political ambitions.
Recent months have seen Pence penning op-eds, giving speeches at key party events, taking part in influential conservative organizations, and even spearheading the creation of an advocacy group designed to tout the achievements of the prior administration, as the Chicago Tribune noted earlier this year.
Trump, for his part, has continued to tease the possibility of his own presidential run in 2024, and when asked earlier this year to list the names of those he sees as also being viable contenders for the GOP nod, he mentioned Sens. Ted Cruz (TX) and Josh Hawley (MO) as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Notably excluded from his line-up, however, was Pence.
Though Pence has not made his intentions clear in terms of 2024, his travel schedule so far this year has included strategic stops not just in Iowa, but also in New Hampshire and South Carolina, both early stops on the presidential primary calendar, as Politico has noted.
If he should decide to seek his party’s nomination in 2024, Pence will have some real work to do in terms of convincing Trump supporters of his loyalty to the former president’s agenda, and whether that gulf can be sufficiently bridged, only time will tell.