Former VP Mike Pence Turns Down Invite to CPAC

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Mike Pence by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Former Vice President Mike Pence is not the most popular guy right now among conservatives and Trump supporters. The reason is simple: he refused to say the election had been monkeyed with and was seen by many as having been disloyal to President Trump and the MAGA movement.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that he’s turned down an invite to show up at this year’s upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando.

Some might question why Pence was even invited, but on the other hand he was a key part of bringing together the MAGA coalition that helped Trump ride to victory, and he did spend four years being a stalwart defender of conservative principles.

Nonetheless, the news that Pence won’t be attending provides a useful vantage point to look at the current state of today’s GOP and prospects for the future.

Donald Trump & Mike Pence by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

What is CPAC’s Reaction?

The leadership of CPAC is apparently disappointed that Pence doesn’t want to take part and are trying to convince him to show up and speak.

However Pence wants to lay low for awhile and avoid any new headlines for at least the next half year and will be signing on as a distinguished visiting fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

In addition, Pence has plans to boot up a new podcast, start writing his opinion in articles and become a Presidential Scholar who speaks on college campuses and at events for the Young America’s Foundation.

It seems very unlikely that Pence will change his mind and show up this Thursday in Orlando for CPAC, but one person who will definitely be there is former President Trump.

What to Expect at This Year’s CPAC

CPAC starts this Thursday and ends Sunday with Trump giving the finishing address. CPAC usually happens in Maryland but it’s been moved because Maryland’s COVID restrictions are too strict to allow a normal gathering to take place.

This will be 45’s first public speech since leaving office and many people are looking forward to what he’s got on his mind.

Inside sources say that Trump is going to speak about where the Republican party goes from here and about Biden’s open borders agenda as well as announce himself as the presumptive 2024 presidential nominee. Trump is reportedly going to say he’s still the right guy to drain the swamp and hint at himself as the standard bearer for the Republican party, although not necessarily officially announce that he’s actually running.

The Main Message

Trump’s main message at CPAC is going to obviously be the fact that he’s still involved in politics and wants to shape the conservative movement, but he’s also going to be making his overall point very clear in that anyone who doesn’t fly under his banner will be getting primaried and knocked out of their district.

Polling already shows that Trump is surging ahead in terms of potential GOP contenders, with key members refusing to talk poorly about him, say he lost the election or blame him for the Jan. 6 riot, including House GOP key member Steve Scalise who recently said he won’t agree that Trump lost the 2020 election in a television interview.

Scalise, who recently visited and spoke with Trump in Florida said that the president is focused on the future.

“He still cares a lot about this country and the direction of our country. But, you know, it was a conversation more about how he’s doing now and what he’s … planning on doing and how his family is doing,” Scalise said.