Pence to push ‘freedom agenda’ ahead of Trump speech in DC

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Pence to push 'freedom agenda' ahead of Trump speech in DC

Former Vice President Mike Pence will give a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, Monday, roughly 24 hours before ex-President Donald Trump returns to the nation’s capital for the first time since leaving office — hinting at a potential 2024 face-off between the former running mates. 

In his 5 p.m. speech, Pence will be delivering a set of conservative policies that “he believes will save our great nation,” according to the event details

Prepared remarks obtained by CNN reveal that Pence intends to push a “freedom agenda” that would create “more economic opportunity” and “restore American leadership on the world stage.” 

“Some people may choose to focus on the past,” the remarks reportedly read. “But I believe conservatives must focus on the future.”

Pence reportedly plans to talk about the importance of a “lasting majority” as well as “unified conservative action.” 

The policies backed by Pence — which are a part of his Freedom Agenda released by the Advancing American Freedom PAC — include banning abortions, finishing the border wall, barring transgender athletes from competing in sports against the gender with which they identify, eliminating the US Department of Education, as well as treating China as an economic and security threat. 

Pence's speech comes a day before former President Donald Trump makes his return to Washington, D.C. for a speech at the America First Policy Institute’s conference.
Pence’s speech comes a day before former President Donald Trump makes his return to Washington, DC, for a speech at the America First Policy Institute’s conference.
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

While Pence has yet to announce if he intends to run for president in 2024, Monday’s speech is the latest hint in recent months that the former vice president is seeking to take the Republican Party in a different direction — notably away from Trump.

Pence has already started to receive support from party leaders toward a potential run — including from Republican Study Committee leader Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). 

Like Pence, Trump has not yet formally announced if he will be campaigning for the Oval Office a third time — but he has repeatedly indicated that he has made his decision and is debating whether to announce it before or after the midterm elections. 

Trump will be returning to Washington, DC, for the first time since leaving office on Tuesday in order to give the keynote address during the America First Policy Institute’s conference. 

He is scheduled to take the podium around 3 p.m. 

Their back-to-back appearances are not the first time Trump and Pence have gone head to head as the two stumped for rival gubernatorial candidates in Arizona on Friday. As the Aug. 2 primary approaches, Trump has thrown his full support behind front-runner Kari Lake, while Pence has backed incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey. 

During his trip to the Grand Canyon State, Trump called on voters to place their bets with “true conservative warriors,” according to the Arizona Republic

While Trump and Pence ran for a second term in office in the 2020 presidential election, it quickly became clear that the pair would not be running again a third time as their relationship deteriorated following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Pence’s decision to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

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