Former Vice President Mike Pence has been taking actions that make it appear he is preparing for a run for the presidency in 2024, and likely doesn't plan to step aside if his old boss decides to take another crack at it, The Washington Examiner
Pence's recent activities include attending Nebraska GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts' annual steak fry, launching a podcast, delivering remarks at the rededication of Indiana's Sept. 11 memorial and filing an amicus brief through his political nonprofit group, Advancing American Freedom, seeking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.
Pence also spoke at a memorial service for Marine Cpl. Humberto Sanchez of Indiana, one of the 13 service members killed in the attack on the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.
"As we told you before the service, we would have been here on the back row just to pray with you because while I had official duties over the last four years, we are Marine Corps parents," Pence said at Sanchez’s memorial.
"So let me say with authority, Karen and I understand the immense pride that you feel, but we cannot comprehend the sense of loss of one so dear to your family and to the Nation," Pence said. "But our family wanted to be here with your family to express our thanks."
Other Republicans eyeing 2024 runs include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Both were also present at Ricketts' steak fry.
But they and others also have indicated that if former President Donald Trump decides to make a third try at his old job — something he has strongly hinted he will do — they will step out of the way. Pence has not.
And that appears to be at least a secondary reason for Pence's actions, the Examiner's David M. Drucker writes.
"Subtly, the former vice president is communicating that he does not intend to allow Trump to dictate his political future," says Drucker. "Additionally, the former vice president is hoping to make it abundantly clear to Republicans of all stripes that if Trump is the nominee in 2024, his best choice for a running mate is the same choice he made in 2016."
Pence believes he would be welcomed by almost every wing of the party, especially those not taken with Trump, Drucker writes.
Pence's problem is that Trump himself is no longer taken with Pence. He has been dismissive of his former vice president ever since he failed to support him in his efforts to overturn the election of Democrat Joe Biden during the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress when the national votes were certified.
DeSantis has widely been speculated as Trump's running mate should he decide to make a 2024 bid.
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