Jun 7, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Pence 2024 video ignores Trump, slams Biden

Former Vice President Pence at an event in Dover, N.H., in May. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence blasts President Biden and "the radical left" in his 2024 campaign announcement video — but makes no mention of his former boss, Donald Trump.

Why it matters: The video, called "Best Days," is a reintroduction of sorts for Pence, who has made clear that he wants to share credit for certain accomplishments of the Trump administration — even as he distances himself from Trump and their divide over the Jan. 6 insurrection.

  • Pence's video — released today, his 64th birthday — is wrapped in frequent mentions of his faith and praise of American values.
  • There's no reference to Trump, who on Jan. 6, 2021, urged followers to go to the U.S. Capitol to try to stop the electoral vote certification that Pence was presiding over.
  • Pence said in March that Trump's words that day were "reckless" and "endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol."
  • In the video, Pence focuses on better days as vice president: "I’ll always be proud of the progress we made together, for a stronger, more prosperous America."

Driving the news: Pence filed paperwork Monday to launch his presidential bid against Trump and an increasingly crowded GOP field.

  • He'll make it official today with the video, an announcement in Des Moines and a CNN town hall at 9 p.m. ET.

The big picture: By the end of the day Wednesday there likely will be 10 Republicans in the presidential race. Three — Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Tuesday) and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (Wednesday) — are this week's new contenders.

What they're saying: Pence paints a bleak picture of America under Biden's leadership, slamming him over inflation and a "looming" recession, a southern border that's "under siege," and a "weakened" foreign policy.

  • He also makes an appeal to the GOP base, saying "traditional American values are under assault," while showing headlines and clips about a transgender athlete, drag queens, and broken cop cars riddled with graffiti.
  • Other GOP candidates have called out Trump's character and explicitly said he shouldn't be in the race. Pence doesn't go that far.
  • "We can turn this country around, but different times call for different leadership," he says. "Today, our party and our country need a leader that will appeal, as Lincoln said, to the better angels of our nature."
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