Former Vice President Mike Pence recently made his first public address since leaving office. With South Carolina being an early voting state in the South, talks of a potential 2024 presidential run have emerged.
Thursday, former Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a dinner hosted by the Palmetto Family, marking his first public speaking engagement since leaving office. The New York Post reports that the former vice president hinted of a potential return to elected office, as he spoke to the South Carolina crowd. “We’ve got to guard our values… by offering a positive agenda to the American people, grounded in our highest ideals,” Pence told the audience. The audience consisted of several hundred people at a Columbia dinner sponsored by a conservative Christian nonprofit.
Pence’s choice of South Carolina has sparked discussion of a potential 2024 presidential run, as the state holds the first presidential primaries in the South. Candidates from both parties usually spend a significant amount of time in the state to introduce themselves and secure a backing ahead of voting. Pence also took the opportunity to criticize President Biden’s first 100 days saying, “after 100 days of open borders, runaway spending, plans for higher taxes, a bigger welfare state, more government, defunding the police, abandoning the right of life, canceling our most cherished liberties, I’ve had enough!”
Despite vocalizing his concerns about the current administration, the former vice president has not specifically indicated any plans of a future presidential run. Since leaving office, Pence has been doing work with the Heritage Foundation and Young America’s Foundation [NBC News].
“We’ve all been through a lot over the past year,” Pence said. “A global pandemic, civil unrest, a divisive election, tragedy at our nation’s capital, and a new administration intent on further dividing our country as they advance the agenda of the radical left.” As the former vice president reflected on the previous year, he touched on his own Christian beliefs and shared values with the Palmetto Family council, which advocates for religious freedom. Thursday’s speech is just the beginning of more public appearances expected from Pence.
NBC News reports that he will be taking at least one or two trips a week, likely focusing on his relationships with both the Heritage Foundation and Young America’s Foundation. “We have the winning agenda,” Pence announced. “And now it’s incumbent upon us to take that winning agenda to the American people” [New York Post].