DES MOINES, Iowa — If any of the three dozen or so Iowans gathered near a backyard pool in Des Moines Tuesday night showed up to find out if former vice president Mike Pence would be running for president in 2024 — they’re still waiting.
Pence, on the first day of his two-day campaign swing through Iowa, didn’t say one way or the other whether he would join the race to try to stop his former boss, Donald Trump, from getting the Republican nomination again.
“I want to say to you on behalf of Republicans everywhere, do your part,” Pence said, “Ask the hard questions. Shape the leadership. And whatever role my little family and I end up playing in the days ahead, I know Iowa’s going to give us a standard bearer — whoever he or she may be — that will lead our party and lead our nation back to the principles that have always made this country strong and true and proud.”
Pence spoke at the home of former Polk County Chair Will Rogers. Pence didn’t talk about Trump specifically but did talk about their time together in office as a team. “The support that we received from the people of Iowa…not just on election days, but all throughout…held our arms up, made it possible to the work that we did…make the progress that we made. I want to thank you, Iowa, for the privilege of serving as your vice president.”
He criticized the Biden administration for causing the influx of migrants at the southern border and for the evacuations of Americans in Afghanistan in 2021 where 13 servicemembers died.
Pence challenged Iowans to help put a Republican in the White House.
“I want to encourage all of you — like I know I don’t really need to — maybe with renewed energy…do your part, Iowa, in shaping our national leadership because we’re at a time in the life of this nation, where this next election is either going to start to take us back to the principles and the ideals that have always made America strong and prosperous and true and inspired the world or we’re going to continue to head down into the abyss of the European-style social welfare state.”
Pence has scheduled events Wednesday in Des Moines and Ottumwa.