Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is considering a run for the White House in 2024, celebrated the end of federal abortion protections in a speech Wednesday night in South Carolina, while subtly backing away from former President Donald Trump.
In a speech at the Florence Baptist Church in an early voting state that would be central to his strategy to win the Republican presidential nomination, Pence touted his job as vice president by casting a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, pushing to end Planned funding. Parenthood. clinics and being the first vice president to address the March for the Right to Life.
“As we meet tonight, we must recognize that we have only reached the end of the beginning,” Pence said, referring to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. “We must resolve that we will not rest, we will not repent, until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the nation.”
In addition to promising to end abortion in all 50 states, Pence also vowed to push for more support for crisis pregnancy centers across the country and try to ban the mailing of abortion pills to women seeking to end their pregnancies.
Perhaps most notably, however, Trump’s staunchly pro-life former vice president delivered a campaign-style speech that made only a fleeting mention of the “Trump-Pence administration.”
Pence’s latest presidential test came just hours before the January 6 committee was to hold another hearing on Thursday to shed light on Trump’s alleged inaction as his supporters ransacked the US Capitol in an attempt to block the transfer. peace of power. When they stormed the building and learned that Pence had refused to go along with the plan to block certification of the Electoral College count, many of them shouted, “Hang Mike Pence!”
The speech in Florence, however, is just the beginning of a series of campaign stops scheduled in the coming days, including one in Arizona, where Pence and Trump have endorsed different Republican candidates for governor.
Trump’s support within the GOP has fallen to its lowest point since before he won the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. Partly as a result of the Jan. 6 committee hearings and Trump’s refusal to move on from his loss to Biden in 2020, that weakening support seems to have created an opportunity for Pence, whom many Republicans had largely written off as a presidential candidate.
Earlier Wednesday, before a House Republican Study Committee meeting, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, praised Pence for challenging Trump on Jan. 6 and supporting the Constitution, to applause from the conservative caucus, according to .
“Let me just say that the vice president is a real moral force. He is a true leader and has earned the respect of Republicans and other Americans across the country,” Rep. Andy Barr, R-Kentucky, said as he left the meeting, according to .
As Pence demonstrated Wednesday, he hopes that Republican voters who applaud the end of abortion rights nationally will agree with that assessment and let memories of Trump fade into history.