Politics

Mike Pence gains political muscle

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“The path begins in Iowa,” said the senior adviser, who was granted anonymity to discuss the campaign’s internal deliberations. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist – even a political journalist like you can understand: that’s the way.”

Chip Saltsman, the architect of Huckabee’s 2008 Iowa victory, advised Pence on his first state strategy. And Pence’s camp is also having PAC conversations with Mike Biundo, the New Hampshire-based veteran of nine presidential campaigns — one of a small group of Republican consultants to win both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary — who was a senior national adviser to Trump in 2016. A person familiar with the talks and who granted anonymity to describe them said Biundo was also in talks with other campaigns.

“South Carolina is packed,” Pence’s senior adviser said, referring to former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and South Carolina senator Tim Scott, two presidential candidates who both have deep ties to the state. Pence’s still fledgling campaign is also optimistic about the New Hampshire crowds the vice president has received.

“We’re also under no illusions that it won’t be day one favorite status,” the senior adviser said.

Former Pence boss President Donald Trump still leads in primary polls, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis trailing far behind. Pence tends to sit in third place, hovering around 6% in recent polls.

The advent of the PAC would mark the latest move in a month-long effort by Pence to test the waters of an unusual campaign – one that could see the most recent former vice president challenge the ex-president of his own. left. Thursday, Pence testified before a federal grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

pence said CBS News recently that he would make a final decision on a presidential campaign “well before the end of June”.

A spokesperson for Pence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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