Is Mike Pence next? CNN announces town hall with Pence in June

AP Photo/John Minchillo

He’s running, in case you are wondering. CNN announced it will host a town hall for Mike Pence on June 7, at 9 p.m. ET from Grand View University in Des Moines. The moderator will be Dana Bash. Why would Pence subject himself to this abuse if he was not going to get in the Republican primary? The audience will consist of Republican voters and Iowa voters who plan to pre-register to participate in the Republican caucuses by the deadline set by the Republican Party of Iowa. They pledge to appear in person at the caucuses. Color me skeptical that this doesn’t invite some possible foul play from Democrats.

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Republicans are showing an appetite for abuse lately. First it was Trump, who did fine up against the obnoxious questioning style of Kaitlan Collins. She didn’t let him answer a question in full without interrupting him. Her questions mostly focused on the past – January 6, 2021, the 2020 election, classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, and the sexual assault case that was decided the day before. E. Jean Carroll was awarded $5M in her case against Trump. Trump is a street fighter and there was never any doubt that he would come out on top.

Nikki Haley is going next. It will take place on June 4 and the moderator is Jake Tapper. The venue has not been announced.

I look for the other GOP primary challengers to do town halls, too, now that it is becoming a pattern. I hope they are prepared for mostly “how do you feel about Trump?” questions on various topics. It’s all they know how to do anymore. Everything turns into a litmus test about their support of Trump so then the pundits can trash the candidate after the event. Look for Pence to really get the treatment, since he was Trump’s vice-president.

Because he was Trump’s vice-president, he has no chance of gaining traction in the primary. I just don’t see a lane for him. It’s too bad because he is a nice man who has a lot of useful experience. He has experience and knowledge of how Congress works since he served there, he has executive experience as a former governor of his home state of Indiana, and he was in the executive branch. He is a Midwesterner with a measured, common sense kind of way of talking. He’s not charismatic or an energetic speaker but he delivers a good speech. He can communicate a message. Still..

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Trumpers would never support him because Trump threw Pence under the bus when Pence did his job in certifying the 2020 election results. They believed Trump when he said Pence could simply not certify the election and throw it for him. Unbelievable. His wife and daughter were with him in the Capitol when he had to go into hiding from the rioters. Pence can look forward to being questioned about all that.

Nonetheless, Pence is telling people he feels called to run for president. He said he expects to make a decision “before the month of June is out.”

In Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday, Pence spoke with KCCI’s chief political reporter. She asked about his 2024 plans and he told her he has a “clear sense of calling” on a possible presidential run. He wasn’t prepared to make an announcement, though. And he moved the goalpost back a bit. Now he says he’ll decide by the Fourth of July. He said he’s getting “an awful lot of encouragement.” From where? His friends and family members? Does he really see potential primary voters clamoring for him to get into the race?

“I’m hearing from people that long to see us return to the policies that we were advancing that had the American economy growing, strengthened our military, secured our border, stood by our liberties and our values,” he said. “But, I also hear a real desire for new leadership — leadership that would maybe restore a threshold of civility in public life. And I’m always humbled that people associate my approach to politics with that.”

Rooker asked Pence if there are any unanswered questions he would still need to figure out before making a final decision.

“Well, I would tell you, I think we have a clear sense of our calling. And while we’re not, we’re not prepared to make any announcement at this time. I’ve just been deeply moved,” Pence said.

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I think it would be interesting to see how he runs against Trump. He was a loyal soldier to Trump during their time in office. Trump was always complimentary of him until January 6, 2021.

He may not run but my question is still – why do events like a town hall on CNN with a partisan like Dana Bash if he isn’t going to jump in?

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024
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