- Mike Pence is making plans for a 2024 presidential run, CNN Politics reported.
- He has sized up his team, acquired new office space, and recruited a top GOP fundraiser, the media outlet said.
- Recent headlines suggest that Pence’s relationship with Donald Trump has soured in recent months.
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Former Vice President Mike Pence is gearing up for a potential 2024 presidential run and is expanding his operation amid headlines indicating a breakdown of any relationship with former President Donald Trump and his supporters, according to CNN Politics.
Top aides of the former vice president told CNN that Pence had doubled his team to about 20 people this summer and among the recruits is a top Republican fundraiser, John Fogarty.
Pence has also secured a brand-new office space in downtown Washington DC, according to CNN, where he and his aides are said to be exploring a potential path towards the presidency.
His schedule, the media outlet said, points towards a future run. In the coming months, CNN reported he’s planning on visiting Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina – early presidential primary states.
Appearances at political events for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and a meeting with the family of a Marine killed during the Afghanistan withdrawal indicate that Pence is branding himself as a presidential contender, a conservative radio host said.
“I think Pence is doing what he can: saying the right things, defining himself as himself and not as Trump’s surrogate, and helping others,” said Erick Erickson in an interview with CNN.
The rumors of Pence running for the Republican party nomination comes at a time when the former vice president’s relationship with the former president and his supporters is said to have worsened, CNN reported.
It has recently emerged that Trump allegedly told Pence that he did not want to be “friends anymore” and that he had chosen “the wrong man four years ago” on January 6, 2021, according to a new book by veteran reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa,
In the days following the Capitol riot, The New York Times previously reported that Trump tried to cajole his deputy into overturning the election results. “You can either go down in history as a patriot,” Trump allegedly said, “or you can go down in history as a pussy.”
The relationship reportedly fell apart so badly in the following months that Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed to Trump that he needed to “repair the damage” with Pence, according to Woodward and Costa’s book.
The last conversation between Pence and Trump was in April, CNN said.
While other would-be Republican candidates for president are said to be holding off on planning runs until it becomes clear if Trump is running, CNN reported that Pence’s team rejects the idea to press pause o his plans.
“Mike is going to look at this and say, ‘Where am I being called to serve?’ ” said one person close to Pence. “That’s not going to be thwarted by any man or woman.”