Former Vice President Mike Pence wouldn’t say Tuesday whether he was seeking to run against Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election.
Driving the news: After a speech at Utah Valley University in Orem, a student asked Pence during a Q&A if he was running in the next presidential election.
- “I’ll keep you posted,” he quipped in front of a roughly 700-member audience.
What they’re saying: “There’s almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose which votes to count for the American president,” Pence said, seemingly referring to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
- Office-holders in the U.S. make oaths to support and defend the U.S. Constitution, he said.
- “You’ll keep your oath even when it hurts,” said Pence, who has defended his role in certifying the 2020 election results.
Between the lines: Pence’s remarks ranged from protecting unborn children to securing the nation’s borders and the Jan. 6 insurrection.
- Pence also said he’s “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican — in that order.”
Context: Pence was in Utah as a speaker for UVU’s new Gary. R Herbert Institute for Public Policy Forum, named after the state’s 17th governor.
- He and Herbert developed a friendship while he served as the governor of Indiana between 2013–2017.
- “I can tell you from personal experience that these are great people. They’re people of integrity. They’re people who have great faith,” Herbert said of Pence and his wife Karen, the former second lady.
The other side: A group of students protested Pence’s visit outside the school, holding signs that read “Mike Pence UVU is Not For You” and “Complicit.”
- “We don’t think Mike Pence represents UVU values,” said student Simone Anderson, 22, a member of the left-leaning Progressive Student Alliance. “Inviting Mike Pence shows marginalized communities, such as the queer community and BIPOC community, that they are not necessarily welcome here.”
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