Mike Pence will launch his presidential campaign in Iowa on June 7

Posted By: Sophia Andrew

Posted On: June 1, 2023

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In a significant move, Former Vice President Mike Pence is set to commence his anticipated presidential campaign, making an official announcement in Iowa next week. This development adds yet another contender to the expanding field of Republican candidates and places Pence directly in competition with his former boss.

On June 7, which also marks his 64th birthday, Pence will kick off his campaign with a high-profile event in Des Moines. According to insiders who spoke anonymously, there are plans to release a video message as part of the launch.

The decision to start the campaign in Iowa, rather than Pence’s home state of Indiana, highlights the team’s recognition of the early-voting state’s crucial role. They view Iowa as pivotal to Pence’s potential path to victory, hoping to strike a chord with evangelical Christian voters who represent a significant portion of the state’s Republican electorate. With his staunch opposition to abortion rights and his reputation as an avowed social conservative, Pence’s message is expected to resonate with this key demographic. The campaign’s strategy includes an aggressive presence across Iowa, with plans to visit all 99 counties before the caucuses next year.

Pence’s campaign will heavily emphasize town hall meetings and retail stops, intending to showcase his personality and background while breaking away from the shadow of former President Donald Trump. Although Pence is well-known among Republican voters, his aides believe there is a need to reintroduce him to those who only recognize him as Trump’s second-in-command. Having served for over a decade in Congress and as Indiana’s governor, Pence’s loyalty to Trump was unwavering until he diverged from the former president regarding the 2020 election.

Desperate to overturn his defeat and cling to power, Trump exerted pressure on Pence, attempting to persuade him, as well as his supporters, that he possessed the ability to reject the will of the voters while overseeing the ceremonial counting of the Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021. However, it is important to note that the vice president lacked such authority. As the counting progressed, a violent mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, causing chaos, assaulting law enforcement, and forcing Pence, his family, and his staff to seek refuge as the mob menacingly chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!”

Pence holds Trump accountable for his role in the events of that fateful day, asserting that his “reckless words” placed his family and everyone present at the Capitol in danger. In his book, “So Help Me God,” Pence candidly remarks, “For four years, we had a close working relationship. It did not end well.” In the aftermath, Pence has distanced himself from Trump strategically, meticulously laying the groundwork for his campaign. While he praises the accomplishments of the “Trump-Pence administration,” he emphasizes disparities in policy and style between himself and his former boss.

Pence has urged his party to move beyond Trump’s election grievances and has expressed concern over the rising wave of populism within the Republican Party. Furthermore, he has criticized those unwilling to stand up to Russian leader Putin over his assault on Ukraine, taking a subtle swipe at both Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who currently trails Trump in the polls. Pence’s support for cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare, in contrast to Trump and DeSantis’ promises to protect them, has further differentiated his stance. Additionally, he has voiced disapproval of DeSantis’ escalating conflict with Disney.

In recent weeks, Pence provided testimony before a federal grand jury investigating attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election. With the intention of testing the waters for a presidential run, Pence has spent months visiting early voting states, delivering policy speeches, speaking at churches, and courting donors. A super PAC was launched by his allies, focusing on establishing a paid ground operation to mobilize voters.

The upcoming week will witness multiple GOP announcements. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie plans to launch his campaign with a town hall event in New Hampshire on Tuesday evening, while North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum will announce his own bid in Fargo on June 7. Pence is scheduled to travel to New Hampshire and North Carolina later in the week, further indicating the intensifying race for the Republican nomination.

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