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Mike Pence at an event sponsored by the Palmetto Family organization in South Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence gave his first speech since leaving office on Thursday night, disparaging the Biden administration, while praising the Trump administration and reflecting on an era of "prosperity and security."

Why it matters: Despite the rift that emerged between the former president and Pence toward the end of Trump's term, the ex-VP closely aligned himself with his old boss, signaling that Trump still looms large over the GOP.

Driving the news: Pence heaped praise on the achievements of the Trump administration, from pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal to appointing "300 conservatives to federal courts at every level."

What he's saying: The Trump administration, Pence said, was "four years of consequence, four years of results and four years of promises made and promises kept."

  • Conservatives must "stand up and unite behind a positive agenda and win back America," Pence added.
  • He blasted President Biden's administration, saying it had been 100 days of "cancelling our most cherished liberties."

Worth noting: Pence made only a passing reference to the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, in which some pro-Trump rioters called for him to be killed.

What to watch, via the Washington Post: "The choice of South Carolina for Pence’s post-administration debut has definite political overtones, helping him develop exposure for a potential 2024 presidential bid."

Go deeper

Trump says he'd "certainly" consider DeSantis as 2024 running mate

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Former President Trump told Fox Business on Thursday that he is "100%" thinking about another presidential bid in 2024, and that he would "certainly" consider making Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) his running mate.

Why it matters: Trump and DeSantis see eye-to-eye on many policy issues. But the Florida governor has also been floated as a 2024 contender on his own, having gained massive popularity among Republicans during the pandemic.

Scoop: Inside the pitch to create Trump Media Group

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump last month was pitched on launching a multi-billion dollar media and technology company built around his personal brand, with the idea that it could go public via a SPAC.

Behind the scenes: The 24-page presentation made its way to Trump's desk at Mar-a-Lago, although it does not seem to have gained traction with the former president.

Off the Rails

Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

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