After giving a rousing speech at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, many have speculated that former President Donald Trump could be eyeing another presidential run in 2024.
According to Saul Anuzis, the president of the 60 Plus Association and former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, Trump’s former running mate could also be planning a political comeback, The Washington Times reported.
While former Vice President Mike Pence didn’t attend CPAC this year, Anuzis said he’s biding his time.
Pence “served Trump well”
Anuzis pointed out that Pence “served Trump well and has a deep level of commitment from a broad range of politicos,” both of which bode well for the future.
However, he said that it is “way too early” for the former vice president to make an appearance given what happened in the last days of Trump’s administration.
“This is still Trump’s movement,” Anuzis said. “I think Pence is playing his cards right, laying low while some of the controversy around him settles down.”
Pence was the target of harsh criticism, including from Trump himself, for not trying to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College results in January. However, he later refused demands from Democrats to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the president from office.
Pence ranked near bottom of straw poll
For some, the emotional impact of that day remains raw. Another CPAC attendee, political activist and former broadcaster Jill Quentzel, said Pence’s willingness to break from Trump is viewed with bewilderment by many Republican voters, The Washington Times reported.
“We don’t understand a lot of what is going on,” Quentzel said. “Same with McConnell, with Pence, with Supreme Court Justice [John] Roberts.”
However, according to The Times, “Mr. Pence’s team says the former vice president has spoken with Mr. Trump numerous times since leaving office on Jan. 20 and that both sides have initiated contact.”
A straw poll from the event showed there was no groundswell of support among CPAC attendees for Pence to take a shot at leading the country.
“In the Times-CPAC straw poll, Mr. Pence came in 10th, with 1% support, in a hypothetical race that included Mr. Trump, who garnered 55.3%,” The Times reported. Pence inched his level of support up by 0.4% when his former boss was removed as an option, but his ranking fell from tenth place to eleventh.