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Pence spokesman shoots down presidential rumor

By Sarah May on
 December 27, 2022

The Twitterverse went into a frenzy on Monday when reports circulated that former Vice President Mike Pence had thrown his hat into the 2024 presidential ring by filing a “statement of candidacy” with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), but, as Fox News reports, a spokesperson for the Republican later clarified that he did no such thing.

Devin O'Malley, speaking for Pence, declared on Twitter that “Former Vice President Mike Pence did not file to run for President today,” and he also replied to a tweet from conservative journalist Greg Price that asked, “So did somebody prank you with an FEC filing?” by suggesting, “I think someone pranked you.”

Curious filing

As Fox News noted, at 5:12 p.m. Monday, the FEC received a statement of candidacy filing for “Mr Mike Richard Pence,” a fact which sparked all kinds of speculation as to whether the former VP had effectively announced a 2024 White House run.

Noteworthy, however, was the fact that all prior FEC filings connected to Pence refer to him as “Michael,” rather than “Mike.”

O'Malley declined further comment on the filing and referred additional questions to the FEC, and a spokesperson there indicated that the agency could not provide comment on specific documents but added that a process is already in place for the review of potentially falsified forms.

Run remains possible

Though the filing at issue was certainly suspect due to its wording, the notion of a Pence candidacy in 2024 is far from implausible, considering remarks the former VP has already made on the topic.

As the New York Post reported last month, Pence sat down for an interview with ABC News' David Muir and expounded at length about the next presidential election cycle, hinting at his own possible participation and acknowledging the specter of one particularly controversial potential primary rival.

Asked by Muir whether he believes former President Donald Trump should serve as the commander in chief again, Pence declared, “that's up to the American people,” but added his belief that “we'll have better choices in the future.”

Pence continued, “And for me and my family, we will be reflecting what our roles will be in that,” confirming that he – in conjunction with his family – was in the process of weighing the possibility of a 2024 presidential campaign, noting, “[w]e're giving it consideration in our house. Prayerful consideration.”

Karen Pence, the former VP's wife, suggested that she and her husband would be talking things over with their three adult children over the holidays, and the final answer will turn on whether “they feel called” to undertake the challenge.

Speculation mounts

Though he has yet to make any official decisions, it has been apparent for some time that a presidential candidacy is something Pence has been mulling for some time, as evidenced by his recent book tour in support of the memoir, So Help Me God, as Fox News noted.

Speaking to Fox News Digital earlier this month, Pence remarked, “The fact that people are now getting to know me and my family, our faith, our conservative convictions better, has been a great source of encouragement as we think about the way forward and what our calling might be in the future.”

Pence's deliberations come in the wake of former President Donald Trump's own announcement of another campaign for the White House, potentially setting the stage for a primary election confrontation with a man the former VP said engaged in “reckless” words and actions on Jan. 6, 2021.

Potential field expands

While Pence is certainly on the list of Republicans to watch in terms of possible 2024 announcements, pundits are also keeping a close eye on rumored contenders including Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, as Fox News noted.

DeSantis in particular has attracted the lion's share of discussion and analysis, and as Fox News reported separately earlier this month, the governor and his wife were slated to huddle with a group of top donors to toast his impressive November re-election landslide, but also to discuss what sorts of opportunities might lie ahead in the near future.

A source close to DeSantis' inner circle opined with regard to the governor's engagement with donors by saying, “Over the next few months, I think that courtship will become clearer, and the question then becomes what's the timeline and what's his path forward look like. I think that's the question on donors' minds as much as it is on everybody else's minds.”

Adding fuel to the fire of rumors that announcement of a DeSantis presidential campaign is imminent is the upcoming release of a book detailing the governor's years in public service, entitled, The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival, as The Hill reports.

Even though what briefly appeared to be the entry of a high-profile Indiana Republican into the 2024 presidential stakes turned out to be a false alarm, it is clear that a host of prominent contenders are currently surveying the landscape and jostling for the most advantageous scenarios in which to make their intentions known.