Former Vice President Mike Pence announced the launch of his policy and advocacy organization Advancing American Freedom (AAF) this week, which aims to advance the pro-freedom policies promoted under the Trump administration. However, this, coupled with news of his two-book deal, has some wondering if he is angling for a 2024 run. While members of his PAC’s advisory board, some of whom worked closely with the Trump administration, generally support the vice president and his efforts, they are not yet throwing their full weight behind him in terms of a 2024 primary run.
“Advancing American Freedom plans to build on the success of the last four years by promoting traditional Conservative values and promoting the successful policies of the Trump Administration,” Pence said in a statement announcing the launch of the organization, warning that conservatives “will not stand idly by as the radical Left and the new administration attempt to threaten America’s standing as the greatest Nation in the world with their destructive policies.”
Advancing American Freedom is dedicated to the proposition that our nation must conserve that which matters most: the right of every American to live, to work, to worship in freedom—the very thing that has always made our country great. Learn more: https://t.co/rIrSKUnEXE
— Advancing American Freedom (@AmericanFreedom) April 7, 2021
The advisory board is comprised of a collection of former Trump administration officials — including former advisor Kellyanne Conway and former economic advisor Larry Kudlow — and well-known GOP figures such as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R), and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).
Breitbart News reached out to several members of the newly minted advisory board to see whether their participation in the former vice president’s PAC serves as an indicator of a potential Pence endorsement for 2024, should he choose to run.
Several members of the advisory board expressed general support for the former vice president and his efforts but clarified their participation in the PAC is not indicative of an endorsement. Others did not respond to the inquiry.
“I agreed to serve on the Advisory Board of Advancing American Freedom to help educate Americans about the successes the Trump Administration created over the last four years, and to promote the conservative principles that make America great,” advisory board member Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, told Breitbart News.
“As Vice President, Mike Pence articulated and championed those values and successes, and he will continue to do so with Advancing American Freedom,” she said.
However, she said it is “entirely too early” to begin speculating on potential 2024 scenarios.
“My focus and the focus of Tea Party Patriots Action for the next two years is on blocking the implementation of the Biden-Harris plan to have the government take over every sector of American life,” she said.
David McIntosh, former Indiana congressman and president of Club for Growth, is also on the advisory board, but his spokesman told Breitbart News McIntosh’s involvement is “not an endorsement.” Similarly, a spokesman for Focus on the Family head Jim Daly said they did not have any additional comment to provide in regard to a Pence 2024 endorsement.
Pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas’s First Baptist Church was more forward in expressing support for the former vice president, telling Breitbart News that Pence had not asked for his endorsement but adding he would “make an excellent president should he choose to run.”
“Vice-President Pence is both a godly and a seasoned leader who is the natural successor to the tremendous legacy of President Donald J. Trump,” he said.
Several hypothetical GOP 2024 primary polls, in the months following former President Trump’s departure from the Oval Office, have shown the former vice president trailing far behind Trump. A February Morning Consult/Politico poll, for example, showed Trump dominating the field with 53 percent support, followed by Pence, who garnered 12 percent. No other potential candidate held double-digit support.
While Trump has not signaled if he intends to run in 2024, some remain suspicious of Pence’s intentions, viewing his moves as laying the groundwork to politically elevate himself in the future. A source familiar with the operations and launch of Pence’s PAC cast doubts on the former vice president’s effort, describing it as a “huge missed opportunity.”
“The Pence Super PAC is a huge missed opportunity. Rather than preserve and advance the legacy of 45, he chose to make this about him,” the source told Breitbart News. “Instead of talking about the disastrous implications of a Biden presidency and the successes of President Trump’s agenda we’re now talking about whether or not a former talk radio host turned Vice President is going to lead our party.”
The source also blasted the board members, casting them as a “cast of nobodies from archaic D.C. institutions.”
“If this is Pence 2024 then he’s looking backwards and not forwards,” the source added.
Others serving on the advisory board include David Bernhardt, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior; Kirk Cameron, actor; Kelly Craft, former diplomat serving as U.S. ambassador to the UN; Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation; Doug Ducey, governor of Arizona; Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA); Seema Verma, former administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid; Scott Walker, former Wisconsin governor; Andrew Wheeler, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and more.