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Pence rolls out Republican policy agenda ahead of midterms

Pence visits Ukraine border
Former Vice President Mike Pence visits Ukraine border 01:00

Former Vice President Mike Pence rolled out a Republican policy platform on Thursday ahead of the midterm elections — and possibly his own 2024 presidential bid. 

Pence's "Freedom Agenda" platform, released through his nonprofit group Advancing American Freedom, entails rolling back taxes and regulations, securing the border, and energy independence, as well as standing "strong against Russia" and "confronting communist China." The platform makes little mention of former President Trump, who has lambasted Pence over the 2020 presidential election certification and said voters wouldn't "accept" Pence as a 2024 vice presidential candidate. 

The platform has a heavy cultural element to it as well, what Pence calls the "American culture pillar," and includes a pledge to "save women and protect women's sports" by "ensuring that sports competitions are between those who share their God-given gender." The platform also aims to reform big tech, and prevent censorship by social media platforms, a key conservative cause in recent years. 

"The Freedom Agenda presents a bold agenda focused on the future and offers a clear and compelling choice to the American people," Pence said in a statement. "Conservatives across the country can unite around this plan to keep America from further decline and decay brought on by President Biden and progressive policies. America can be as free and prosperous as ever, if we stand firm on our principles and hew to what has always made America the greatest nation in the history of the world."

Key Speakers At Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting
Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence pauses while speaking during the Republican Jewish Coalition RJC

Republicans who helped develop the platform include former top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway and former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. 

Republicans are projected to perform well in the midterm elections, as President Biden's poll numbers sag, and historically, the party in the White House struggles in the midterm election of a president's first term. Pence's own political path remains unclear, and he hasn't said whether he's ruled out a presidential bid.

"All my focus right now is on 2022," Pence told Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo earlier this month. "I think we have a historic opportunity to reclaim majorities in the House and Senate, to elect great Republican governors around America and, in 2023, I'm confident the Republican Party will nominate a candidate who will be the next president of the United States of America and at the right time, my family and I will reflect and consider how we might participate in that process." 

In February, Pence resoundingly rejected the claim by Trump that he had the ability to overturn the 2020 election, saying little could be more un-American. 

"There are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer of the joint session of Congress that I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral College Votes. And I heard this week that President Trump said I had the right to overturn the election. President Trump is wrong," Pence said during a speech in Florida to the Federalist Society. "I had no right to overturn the election."

A February CBS News poll found about seven in 10 Republicans say Trump should run again for president in 2024, with common reasons being they say he's the best candidate Republicans have and he would win. 

The former president easily won a straw poll vote at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February this year, with the second contender, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 30 points behind. Pence won 1% of the vote. 

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