Former Vice President Mike Pence is planning his first semi-public speech since leaving the White House. He is expected to be the keynote speaker at an exclusive dinner hosted by the Palmetto Family Council in South Carolina, traditionally considered one of the most important states during the Republican primary cycle.
According to the Associated Press, an aid to Pence confirmed his plan to speak at the dinner under condition of anonymity. The dinner will be a small event, compared to the large crowds Pence generated while serving under President Donald Trump. It will be ticketed, and there are expected to be between 450-600 attendees. National File contacted the Palmetto Family Council, who provided details surrounding the event: “Our Annual Gala event next month will be open to the public. It will be on Thursday evening, April 29th at 7:00 in Columbia. We are hoping to have our Eventbrite page available later today with all the details.”
National File also inquired as to the cost of attending the event, and did not receive details regarding price.
Pence is rumored to be preparing for a presidential run in 2024, despite being incredibly unpopular among President Trump’s base. While he has yet to publicly confirm his intention to run, the AP notes “his choice of making his post-administration debut in South Carolina helps set down a marker for a potential 2024 presidential bid. The state holds the first presidential primaries in the South, and candidates of both major parties typically spend more than a year in the state ahead of those votes, introducing themselves and trying to secure support.”
Pence planning first public speech since leaving office https://t.co/68V2HVyFn9
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) March 8, 2021
Similarly, The Hill noted, “South Carolina is a pivotal early presidential primary state with a victory providing momentum for any candidate with hopes of earning the Republican or Democratic nomination.”
News of Pence’s planned speaking engagement comes as he received a humiliating 1% of the vote in the unscientific but usually predictive CPAC straw poll this year, coming far behind President Trump, who received 55% of the vote.
The news also comes as President Trump is reportedly planning a presidential run in 2024 without Pence on the bottom of the ticket.
Pence was described by Dr. Peter Navarro, formerly an advisor to President Trump during his first term in office, as “running away from President Trump and the Constitution” on January 6, when he refused to use his Constitutional power to challenge electoral college votes from the six states plagued with credible accusations of widespread voter fraud.
This article was updated with a statement regarding the event details from the Palmetto Family Council.