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Ex-Trump vice president Pence makes first public appearance since January

PoliticsApr 29, 2021 09:05PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Vice President Mike Pence emerged from seclusion on Thursday for his first public appearance since leaving office and offered a road map for Republicans to win back the White House in 2024 without saying whether he would be a candidate.

Pence spoke for a half hour in Columbia, South Carolina, to the Palmetto Family Council, a religious conservative group. It was his first speech since he and then-President Donald Trump handed over power to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Jan. 20.

Pence appeared in good health at the event, just a few weeks after he underwent a surgical procedure to implant a pacemaker in his chest.

Pence outlined how Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 after two years of Democrat Barack Obama's presidency.

"We're going to do it again in the next four years," said Pence. "We have the winning agenda and now it's incumbent upon us to take that winning agenda to the American people."

While he said nothing about whether he would seek high office again, the speech appeared to signal Pence's intention to remain in the Republican conversation as the party tries to rebound from losing the White House and the U.S. Senate in 2020 elections.

Pence and Trump had a bitter ending at the White House after Pence refused Trump's entreaties to try to block the certification in Congress of Biden’s Electoral College win on Jan. 6. That same day pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol and delayed the certification.

Pence attended Biden's inauguration while Trump refused to do so.

Trump advisers say Trump remains disappointed in Pence over the vote certification issue.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump told Fox Business Network that he would consider Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a potential 2024 running mate should he make another run for president.

For his part, Pence declared to the South Carolina group that he was proud to have served at Trump's side over the past four years, a nod to the powerful role Trump retains in the Republican Party.

"Thank you for the privilege of serving as your vice president and the privilege of serving alongside President Donald Trump. It's the greatest honor of my life," he said.

Pence offered heavy criticism of Biden's agenda and spoke fondly of the Trump-Pence administration's record on national security and on the U.S. economy before the coronavirus pandemic threw the United States into recession.

Ex-Trump vice president Pence makes first public appearance since January
 

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Comments (6)
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Apr 30, 2021 12:50AM ET
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Trump announced he is running 2024. Should be lots of rallies soon. Already raising mega cash.
Mase Gumbo
Mase Gumbo Apr 30, 2021 12:50AM ET
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haha with his negative popularity hes gonna lose every time
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 30, 2021 12:50AM ET
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He'll most likely be in jail by then.
Daniel Hodel
Daniel Hodel Apr 30, 2021 12:13AM ET
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Another chance for Trumpers to hang him. I love how you “christains” are so acceptable of others.
Sam Caroni
Sam Caroni Apr 30, 2021 12:13AM ET
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fuming because your moral compass is dictated by pdowood celebrities?
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 29, 2021 10:29PM ET
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What a great man.
Mase Gumbo
Mase Gumbo Apr 29, 2021 10:29PM ET
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loool...i sincerely hope youre joking...hes a spineless fanatic
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 29, 2021 10:29PM ET
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A great man compared to Trump, maybe. But I wouldn't go too far. At least, unlike Trump, he has lines that he won't cross when it comes to the law.
Lawrence Schmidt
Lawrence Schmidt Apr 29, 2021 9:57PM ET
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Dems will always be bittet. Alwayd
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 29, 2021 9:57PM ET
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Try not to eat again speak at the same time. lol
James Sun
James Sun Apr 29, 2021 9:19PM ET
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never ever Trump!
Me comment
Me comment Apr 29, 2021 9:14PM ET
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trump-pence denial and in action on the pandemic through the United States into recession.
Chris Arntz
Chris Arntz Apr 29, 2021 9:14PM ET
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you are a ****** Without Trump there would of been no vaccine yet
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 29, 2021 9:14PM ET
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Nonsense, Chris. It was a pandemic, not a US epidemic. Do you think the US was the only country developing vaccines? And Pfizer, the first to produce a vaccine, did it without any money from the Trump Administration.
 
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