Mike Pence launches ‘conservative values’ group to defend Trumpism

Mike Pence
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US vice president Mike Pence speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the US Department of Education 8 July 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former vice president Mike Pence is launching a political group to promote “traditional conservative values” and defend Trump policies.

Pence has remained fairly under the radar since leaving the White House in January. His most high-profile move thus far had been joining the anti-LGBT+ conservative think tank Heritage Foundation as a distinguished visiting fellow.

Now, it appears that Pence will continue his career of forging ties within the conservative community as he builds his own advocacy group. The Washington Examiner reported Pence launched Advancing American Freedom on Wednesday (7 April) to promote “traditional conservative values” and “the successful policies of the Trump administration”.

“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,” Pence said.

Mike Pence also announced the group’s advisory board which includes high-profile Republican political and policy advisors, many of whom worked for Trump. Advancing American Freedom’s board includes Kellyanne Conway, the former counsellor to president Trump; Newt and Callista Gingrich; and Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

The group’s website claims Pence and the advisory board are in a “unique position” to “merge traditional conservative values with the Make America Great Again policy agenda”. It will also “oppose the expansion of government” under the Biden-Harris administration, which the group claims are part of the “radical Left”.

Advancing American Freedom’s emergence comes as rumours swirl about if Mike Pence will run in the 2024 election.

While a second Trump run hasn’t been ruled out, there has been speculation about which Republicans might be expected to be in the running. Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley are widely expected to run for the Republican nomination.

Pence is also predicted to be in the running and appears to already be garnering support to lay the groundwork. Republican strategist Alice Stewart told the AP that Pence could be a suitable candidate for a future presidential run. She said Pence has a “way of splitting hairs and threading the needle that has paid off in the past year”.

Stewart explained that Pence will have to “make money, lay the groundwork” and “gauge the support” for a future run before he can “pull the trigger”.

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