DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Vice President Mike Pence, making his first visit to Iowa since the end of the Trump administration, has targeted President Biden and shed light on his conservative social credentials as he s was addressed to a large gathering of Christian conservatives in the state whose caucuses for half a century have dominated the presidential nomination calendar.
“I’m a Christian, Conservative, and Republican in that order,” Pence said on Friday, repeating a well-used line as he addressed the 10th annual Family Leadership Summit, which is hosted by the head of the family, a senior , Iowa-based Conservative Evangelical Social Organization.
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“To transform this country, we must turn the American people back to God, to a nation under God,” Pence told a crowd of some 1,200 people at a downtown convention center in Des Moines, the capital and the United States. largest city in Iowa.
“We have to stand up for believers across the county,” Pence said. “We must reject any effort to marginalize Christians and conservatives… We must never allow our schools, government agencies or businesses to persecute the American people because of their deeply held religious beliefs.
Pence, a congressman and governor of Indiana before becoming Donald Trump’s vice president, has long been a strong ally of the social-conservative movement.
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CEO and longtime chairman of the head of the family Bob Vander Plaats told Fox News earlier in the week: “Our base knows him (Pence) very well. They were big supporters of him when President Trump picked him to be vice president. I think that’s one of the things that made our base feel comfortable with President Trump. “
As Democrats took control of the White House and Senate – and retained their majority in the House – in last year’s election, Pence said he was optimistic. He highlighted the GOP’s unexpected success in the 2020 contests by taking a big slice of the majority in the House of Democrats. And he also pointed to the Republican wave of 2010, when Republicans reclaimed the House, and 2014 and 2016, when the GOP reclaimed the Senate, and then the White House.
“We will be doing it all over again in the next three and a half years,” he predicted. And he stressed that “a shameless stand for the sanctity of life” is a key element in having “a winning agenda”.
As he has done several times in speeches in recent months, Pence has also fired salutes at Biden.
“I came here today to say that after 177 days of open borders, higher taxes, rampant spending, police funding, abortion on demand, censorship of freedom of ‘expression, canceling our dearest freedoms, I have had enough, “said the former vice president. mentionned.
“The time has come for every American devoted to the faith and the freedom to stand up and fight against the agenda of the radical left,” he said.
He also accused Biden of “intending to turn America into a secular European-style welfare state.” And he criticized the current administration for what he accused of being its “wholehearted endorsement of the radical left’s global assault on American culture.”
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Pence started his day headlining a fundraiser in Northwestern Iowa for GOP Rep Randy Feenstra. Pence has crisscrossed the country in recent months to help raise funds and campaign for Republicans running in the 2022 midterm election.
But his visit to Iowa sparks growing speculation about Pence’s possibility of running for the White House in 2024. His trip to Hawkeye state follows high-profile stops earlier this year in the New Hampshire – the state that hosted the first presidential primary in a century and votes second to Iowa on the nomination calendar – and South Carolina, which holds the first southern primary and votes third in the Republican calendar .
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