Ever since Mike Pence left office, people have speculated on his future role within the GOP. He quickly moved to become a thought leader in the conservative world. He started his own PAC and become a top member of the Heritage Foundation. He’s continued to give speeches and strategize with Republican leaders. But many people are asking, does he plan to run for public office again?
Pence was a popular governor and a well-respected vice president. But his relationship with Donald Trump, the de facto leader of the GOP, soured at the end of 2020. Some think they might not collaborate again, should Trump return to the campaign trail. During a recent interview, Maria Bartiromo asked Pence what his 2024 plans were. This is what he said.
From Fox Business:
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday did not rule out a run in 2024 while speaking during an exclusive interview on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria,” saying that “at the right time” he will “consider” how he “might participate in that process.”
“All of my focus right now is on 2022,” Pence responded. “I think we have a historic opportunity to reclaim majorities in the House and Senate, to elect great Republican governors around America and, in 2023, I’m confident the Republican Party will nominate a candidate who will be the next President of the United States of America and at the right time, my family and I will reflect and consider how we might participate in that process.”
This might sound like the typical thing from your average politician. But Mike Pence is not your average politician. He was part of one of the most historic and influential presidencies of the modern era. He holds a strong position of influence within the Republican Party. And perhaps more than a few Americans consider him presidential material (perhaps more than his former running mate).
It’s not uncommon for a politician to keep their options open, especially two years before the election. But Pence was vice president, so his decision to run or not run could have a big impact on the shape of the election. Announcing now that he is not running would clear a path for other contenders, including Trump. But saying he will make a decision “at the right time,” means he could be waiting until after the midterms to decide.
Many people will be watching these midterms as a sign of things to come. If Republicans really do ride a red wave into power, it could mean they have a strong chance at winning the White House in 2024. Pence is already predicting that a Republican will take the White House in 2024. But there are probably many key leaders who are waiting to announce a campaign, until after November 2022.
Could Pence be one of them? Most agree he’s not coming back for a Trump campaign. But could Pence face off against his former ally? I guess we’ll find out.