- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Former Vice President Mike Pence is testing the strength of a new advocacy group that is being viewed by politicos as a potential launchpad for a 2024 presidential bid. 

Mr. Pence‘s group, Advancing American Freedom, has raised $10 million since its inception in April 2021. It has announced a goal of achieving a $35 million budget for 2023 for itself and a sister organization.

The announcement came at a retreat Mr. Pence held with donors and allies at a Utah ski resort late last month organized by his group, according to The New York Times.

Mr. Pence‘s private meetings come amid rumors that he is interested in floating a bid for the White House in two years and while his relationship with former President Donald Trump remains rocky.

They remain split on the U.S. Capitol riot in January 2021, when Mr. Pence certified the 2020 election despite Mr. Trump’s plea for him to object to President Biden’s victory.

Mr. Pence later attended Mr. Biden’s inauguration, without Mr. Trump. 

The former vice president has maintained his disagreements with Mr. Trump about the riot, in which a pro-Trump mob threatened to hang Mr. Pence.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day,” Mr. Pence said earlier this year, calling it a “dark day” in the country’s history.

In a recent trip to Iowa, Mr. Pence asserted that he was focused on the midterm elections but did not rule out a bid for president.

He said that after the new year, “we’ll take time to reflect on how we might serve in the future, the near-term, or the long-term.”

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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