In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, there has been much speculation as to what role key veterans of the Trump administration might have in shaping the future of the Republican Party, and a new initiative announced earlier this week may give some clues as to where things could be headed.
In a sign that a rumored rift with former President Donald Trump has been mended, the Washington Examiner reports that former Vice President Mike Pence has launched a new political advocacy group — with the former president’s blessing — designed to merge “the successful policies of the Trump administration” with “traditional conservative values” and bring a more unified MAGA/GOP vision to the forefront.
The group announced that its primary goal is to “promote the pro-freedom policies of the last four years that created unprecedented prosperity at home and restored respect for America abroad, to defend those policies from liberal attacks and media distortions, and to prevent the radical Left from enacting its policy agenda that would threaten America’s freedoms,” as WISH TV in Indianapolis reported.
In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Pence himself explained that “Conservatives will not stand idly by as the radical Left and the new administration attempt to threaten America’s standing as the greatest Nation in the world with their destructive policies.”
The group’s formal introduction on Wednesday was marked by a long list of political luminaries who have signed onto its mission, including former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, former Director of the United States Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, longtime Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft, and more, according to WISH TV.
The new group’s launch was greeted with approval by none other than former President Trump, who said in a statement to the Examiner, “It was the most successful first term in American history. Nice to see Mike highlighting some of our many achievements!”
Though many suspect that Pence harbors presidential aspirations for 2024, he stayed largely out of the spotlight for the first few months of this year. He is, however, slated to speak in South Carolina later this month in what will be his first public address since leaving office, and he has also recently assumed a distinguished visiting fellow position with the Heritage Foundation and a scholar post with the Young America’s Foundation headed by former Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as The Hill noted.
Pence’s electoral fortunes have been thought to hinge significantly on whether Trump plans to return to the arena and seek re-election himself and, if he does not, whether the former president’s supporters would willingly endorse a Pence candidacy, given the reported rancor between the two that emerged during the certification process of the Electoral College results on Jan. 6.
It remains to be seen whether Pence’s group will succeed in building the “broader coalition” it describes as one of its aims, but the apparent thaw in relations between MAGA proponents and more mainline conservative voices offers at least some cause for optimism that a united front can be achieved heading into the midterm elections as well as the 2024 presidential contest.