Administration

McCarthy, Ducey speak at Pence fundraiser: report

Former Vice President Mike Pence reportedly held a summit last week with high-ranking Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, as the former Indiana governor mulls a potential bid for the White House in 2024.

Politico reported on Tuesday that Pence hosted a donor retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyo., late last week for his newly established nonprofit group, Advancing American Freedom. The meeting was reportedly the first of its kind for Pence since he departed the White House in January.

The gathering was invite-only, and attendees were asked to donate sums of money in the six- and seven-figure range, Politico reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The retreat, which lasted two days, featured activities such as shooting and horseback riding with Pence, and a nature walk accompanied by former second lady Karen Pence.

A similar event is reportedly in the works for next year, according to Politico.

McCarthy, Ducey and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) all spoke at the event, according to Politico.

Former National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow; Paul Teller, who previously served as director of strategic initiatives for the vice president; Kellyanne Conway; and former Pence chief of staff Mark Short were also reportedly in attendance, in addition to several other former top Trump administration officials.

Pence formed the advocacy organization this spring as a place to advertise his record as he looks toward a possible bid for the presidency. Advancing American Freedom is a nonprofit organization, which means it is not required to disclose its donors or fundraising totals, Politico noted.

The former vice president also has a separate leadership PAC, the Great America Committee, which is said to have raised $325,000 in the first six months of the year, according to federal filings cited by Politico.

While the 2024 presidential election is more than three years away, some Republican lawmakers are already jockeying to elevate themselves on the national stage in an effort to attract support should former President Trump ultimately decide to sit on the sidelines in the next contest.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) are among those who have been reaching out to donors the most, Politico noted.

Trump and DeSantis topped the straw poll for the 2024 GOP presidential nominee taken at last month’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Pence has been in a particularly precarious situation in the Republican Party since leaving office, after he defied Trump’s wishes and fulfilled his role as vice president overseeing the official Electoral College count of the 2020 presidential election by Congress. That was the same day a pro-Trump mob, some of them chanting “hang Mike Pence,” descended onto the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the process.

Pence, however, has since said he is “proud” of the role he played on Jan. 6, adding at a different time that he may never “see eye to eye” with Trump on the events of that day.

The Hill reached out to a Pence spokesperson for comment.

Tags Donald Trump Doug Ducey Karen Pence Kellyanne Conway Kevin McCarthy Larry Kudlow Mike Pence Newt Gingrich Ron DeSantis Tim Scott Tom Cotton
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