by WorldTribune Staff, January 26, 2023
Mike Pence has not yet announced a run for the White House in 2024, but it is very likely he will, political analysts say.
When asked if former President Donald Trump’s decision to enter the race last November would change his own deliberations, Pence said: “The only thing we’ve decided for sure is that we weren’t going to let anybody else make our decision for us.”
That includes voters who in poll after poll rank Pence near the bottom of 2024 presidential contenders.
While everyone seems to agree that he is a “nice guy,” few can tick off any major accomplishments by Pence in his political career, Margaret Menge noted in a Jan 25 analysis for the Crossroads Report on substack.com.
“For 20 consecutive years, Mike Pence has been in public office. What is the signature accomplishment of Mike Pence? Anyone? Anybody?” Indianapolis talk radio host Rob Kendall asked.
Pence had just said in an interview with Fox News that he was considering running for president, and that he had “one more season” left in him.
Kendall said: “You notice he doesn’t have one more season of getting a real job, he doesn’t have one more season of contributing to the economy, he doesn’t have one more season of producing anything of value to the collective, because he calls it public service. Let’s call it what it is: The Grift.”
Kendall told Menge that Pence had “accomplished next to nothing while he was governor. He got saved by Trump. And, what else is he going to do? What applicable skill set does he have and what has he done in the private sector his entire life?”
He could get some other kind of job, Menge pointed out.
“Yeah but Mike Pence doesn’t do a job in the sense where like he produces things,” said Kendall. “If you told Mike Pence he had to turn a profit on a Wendy’s near a crowded Interstate for a week, I don’t think he could do it.”
Menge found that even Republican Party loyalists in Pence’s home state of Indiana seem to have tired of the former vice president.
“I’m much more DeSantis than I am Pence,” says Chris Callaway, a former county GOP chairman in Monroe County, in southern Indiana. “Pence was good for Trump as a running mate because he balanced Trump out with Evangelicals. On his own, Pence is nothing.”
Menge noted that a county coordinator for Pence’s campaign for governor in 2012 “had things to say about Pence that were too rough to be quoted.”
The county coordinator “went on to describe Pence as being heavily influenced by a few fundraisers – the main one a moderate Republican who ‘hates conservatives’ and who succeeded in getting Pence to sever his ties with many conservatives in the state who’d supported his campaign for governor,” Menge noted.
Kendall pointed to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was debated for months by the Indiana General Assembly and then signed into law by then-Gov. Pence, only to have Pence turn around and support weakening it amid an onslaught of negative national media, with corporations threatening to boycott the state for what they said was an anti-LGBTQ law.
“It really showed what Mike Pence was, that he will do the political thing rather than what he believes to be the right thing,” Kendall said.
Menge also spoke with Rocky Rice, the owner of Rocky’s Pizza in Bloomington, who knows Mike Pence personally.
“I rode horses with Mike for two hours, side-by-side,” he says.
It was in May of 2016. Pence rode on Rice’s horse, named “Baby.”
As they rode, Rice said he told Pence that he knew it must be hard being governor, but that he should have stayed true to his beliefs and not backed down on RFRA.
“He says, ‘That’s politics,’ ” Rice recalls.
“He backpedaled on it and let it go through instead of standing true to his beliefs,” says Rice of the RFRA battle. “He backpedaled on that, and gave in. If you get elected because of your beliefs and your stances on stuff, you should stay true to that. You shouldn’t differ from that to make another group happy if it’s not what you believe in.”
On the job he did has vice president, Rice says he think Pence “turned his back” on Trump at the end.
“That was his boss. What’s he going to do to us?” he asks. “And I think a lot of people, they don’t lose that stereotype. That’s just my opinion.”
Rice says he’ll support Trump for president in 2024.
“My opinion is he’s the only thing that can get us back going again,” he says.
Amy Rainey, who ran for state legislature in Elkhart County in 2022, says her opinion of Pence has shifted in the last few years.
“It’s interesting because I used to be a really strong Mike Pence supporter,” she says. “I think when Trump ran I was not a strong Trump supporter whatsoever and adding Pence to the ticket definitely helped solidify that that’s who I would vote for because he’s always someone that’s been trusted.”
She says she started to do more research and realized Pence was not quite the person she’d thought he was.
“Things were handed to him, businesses, and he ran them into the ground,” she says. “He didn’t really have any personal accomplishments where you could say, ‘Hey, this guy has done a great job at this or that.’ And even looking back to his governorship, there weren’t a lot of wild successes during that time. It was a pretty quiet time.”
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