Pence heaps praise on Trump in first speech since leaving office

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Mike Pence praised Donald Trump even after Trump left him vulnerable during the violent and deadly insurrection at the Capitol.

Former Vice President Mike Pence heaped praise on the ex commander-in-chief in his first speech since leaving office, regaling a crowd of evangelical Republicans with stories about their time serving together.

Pence delivered after left him vulnerable in the Capitol as a pro-Trump mob chanted "hang Mike Pence" as they ransacked the building and later attacked him for not having the "courage" to steal the election from now-President Joe Biden.

In the speech before the Palmetto Family Council — an anti-LGBTQ organization that says the country's "social fabric is only as strong as the bond between its husbands and wives" — Pence said he had the "privilege of serving alongside President Donald Trump," and that it was "the greatest honor of my life."

"To know our president is to know someone who is more of a coach than a general manager," Pence said, telling a story of leaving the 2016 Republican National Convention with Trump. "And he's sitting next to me in the car, and we were just starting to get to know each other, and he's giving me the pep talk [saying,] we are going to work and work."

He added, "and then he looked over at me and hit me in the shoulder and said, 'and then it's going to be great.'"

Pence was speaking in South Carolina, a critical early state in the presidential primary process. Choosing the state for his first speech since the insurrection is a sign he is keeping his options open for 2024.

And his embrace of Trump, even though Trump has turned his back on Pence since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, is a tell that Pence believes his fate is tied to Trump.

Trump, however, has suggested he would ditch Pence as a running-mate should he choose to wage a comeback bid in 2024.

In an interview Thursday morning with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo, Trump threw out Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis' name as a possible vice presidential pick, saying he is "certainly" considering him.

"I endorsed Ron and after I endorsed him he took off like a rocket ship," Trump said. "He's done a great job as governor."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.