“We will stand with the right of every American, of every faith, to live, to work, to speak and to worship according to the dictates of their conscience," Pence said.
Pence, who since leaving office has been doing work with the Heritage Foundation and Young America’s Foundation, has not indicated if he plans a future run. As vice president, he made numerous trips to South Carolina, meeting several times with Gov. Henry McMaster for coronavirus-related forums and campaigning in the state for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace.
But the question is whether Pence's former boss still looms large for the possible Republican field. Former President Donald Trump has not explicitly stated his plans but has teased a possible bid. On Thursday morning, asked on Fox Business about running in 2024, Trump said he’s “100%” thinking about it and would even possibly consider Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as his running mate.
Earlier this month, another possible GOP contender, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, said when asked about 2024 by The Associated Press that she would stand down if Trump opted to run again. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has launched an aggressive schedule, visiting states that will play a pivotal role in the 2024 primaries and signing a contract with Fox News Channel. DeSantis has been courting donors, including in Trump’s backyard, with a prominent speaking slot before the former president at a GOP fundraising retreat dinner this month at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort where Trump now lives.
Earlier Thursday, South Carolina Democratic Chair Trav Robertson said Pence was coming to the state to "try and salvage his relationship” with Trump supporters irked that Pence didn't support efforts to block certification of the 2020 presidential election.
On Thursday, Pence promised to reveal more of his ideas soon, promising that he would be challenging the Biden administration's “avalanche of liberal policies” as he ramps up speaking engagements around the country.
“We have the winning agenda,” Pence told Thursday’s crowd. “And now it’s incumbent upon us to take that winning agenda to the American people.”