Mike Pence Planning South Carolina Speech as 2024 GOP Primary Looms
Former Vice President Mike Pence is planning on making his first public speech since leaving office in late April. The Associated Press reported that Pence is planning on delivering a speech to a private audience for the Palmetto Family Council, a Christian organization in South Carolina.
The speech could be considered the strongest indicator that the former Vice President is considering a 2024 presidential campaign, and is eyeing Christian conservatives as a springboard in a primary campaign. South Carolina is slated to continue its role as one of the first to vote in the 2024 primary, although it’s unclear what order it’ll vote in.
Pence is expected to speak to 400 to 650 people at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on April 29. He’ll emphasize policy accomplishments of the Trump administration, potentially highlighting himself as an alternative to Republican voters who want a “polite” 2024 candidate.
Pence left office on shaky ground with Trump’s political base, with some suspecting he holds loyalties to the old Republican establishment and others faulting him on the basis of a belief that the Vice President could overturn presidential election results in his capacity as President of the Senate. Pence declined to speak at CPAC, although reports have emerged suggesting he’s restored his relationship with Donald Trump.
Polling indicates that Pence would stand in the middle of the pack in a potential 2024 primary where Trump doesn’t run, trailing behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Conflicting reports have emerged as to whether President Trump would select Mike Pence as his running mate in his own potential 2024 campaign, having insisted that Pence try to block electoral college results in January.
Pence’s speech could set off early jockeying for the 2024 GOP nomination, with potential candidates spurred to begin de facto campaign speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire.