In his first public address since the end of the Trump administration, former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday put down a marker for a potential return to elected office, telling an audience in early-voting South Carolina that he will spend the coming months "pushing back on the liberal agenda" he says is wrong for the country. "We've got to guard our values ... by offering a positive agenda to the American people, grounded in our highest ideal," Pence told an audience of several hundred at a Columbia dinner sponsored by a conservative Christian nonprofit. "Now, over the coming months, I'll have more to say about all of that." The choice of South Carolina for Pence's post-administration debut has definite political overtones, helping him develop exposure for a potential 2024 presidential bid, the AP reports.
Pence, who since leaving office has been doing work with the Heritage Foundation and Young America's Foundation, has not indicated if he plans a future run. Earlier Thursday, South Carolina Democratic Chair Trav Robertson said Pence was coming to the state to "try and salvage his relationship" with Trump supporters irked that Pence didn't support efforts to block certification of the 2020 presidential election. On Thursday, Pence promised to reveal more of his ideas soon, promising that he would be challenging the Biden administration's "avalanche of liberal policies" as he ramps up speaking engagements around the country. (Trump said Thursday that he will consider Florida's governor as a running mate if he launches a 2024 White House bid.)