Friday, August 12

Pence to speak in Washington on eve of Trump’s first return to D.C. since he was president

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is considering a run for the White House in 2024, is now slated to give a policy speech in Washington, D.C., on the day before the president he served, Donald Trump, will be addressing the Trump-aligned America First Policy Institute’s two-day summit, also in Washington.

Pence will be addressing the Heritage Foundation on July 25, according to a person directly familiar with the event, and the former vice president will focus on his “Freedom agenda” policy initiatives and the future of the party, according to the source. Pence has been talking about his agenda as a framework to help Republicans win back Congress in the midterm elections, but it also outlines the themes for his own potential presidential bid. 

It espouses traditional conservative policies, like cutting taxes and reducing regulations, securing the border and energy independence, as well as standing “strong against Russia” and “confronting communist China.” The platform makes little mention of Trump, who has excoriated his former vice president because he affirmed President Biden’s victory over Trump in the 2020 election, rather than trying to overturn the results the on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Pence, according to an adviser, will not make a decision on whether to run for president until after the midterms, unlike Trump, who is seriously considering entering the presidential fray before the midterms, according to sources close to him. The former president has hinted he could make an announcement this summer or fall. 

Trump’s speech, which will take place on July 26, marks his first trip back to the nation’s capital since he left office on Jan. 21, 2021, and since the Jan. 6 House select committee hearings began. The hearings, which began last month and are continuing in July, are presenting to the public a picture of the extent of Trump’s efforts to cling to the presidency, through lawsuits, the machinery of government, far-right groups, intervention in state election certification and the mobs of his supporters who overran the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Trump will headline a speech at the Trump-aligned America First Policy Institute, which will be convening a two-day policy conference. At least eight former cabinet members, and over 20 current Republican lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, NRSC chairman Sen. Rick Scott, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Lindsey Graham, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will also be addressing the conference.

Pence, who was a Trump stalwart throughout his presidency, openly disagrees with the former president’s contention that his vice president could change the results of the election. “I heard this week that President Trump said I had the right to overturn the election. President Trump is wrong,” Pence said during a speech in Florida in February.

In a recent New York Times/Sienna College poll, Pence placed fourth, behind Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz among registered GOP voters, although he also placed second among Black and Latino GOP voters in the same survey.



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