Pence qualifies for first Republican presidential primary debate
The big picture: This sets him up for a potential showdown with Donald Trump ahead of the former president's Jan. 6 criminal trial on alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election at which the ex-vice president could be called as a witness.
- Pence is considered a key witness in the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith due to his role as Trump's vice president, offering insights into events leading up to the U.S. Capitol riot and pressure to stop him from certifying President Biden's election win in Congress.
Yes, but: Front-runner Trump has yet to confirm his attendance at the debate and said in July that "when you have a big lead, you don't do it."
What they're saying: "Mike Pence made quick and easy work of the donor threshold, and he's looking forward to a substantive debate about the issues important to the American people," Pence campaign spokesperson Devin O'Malley said in a statement to Fox News.
- "Hopefully, former President Trump has the courage to show up."
- He had already met the RNC's polling criteria and reached the 40,000-unique donor requirement on Monday, Pence's aides told CNN.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Pence campaign spokesperson Devin O'Malley.