Former US Vice President Mike Pence has declined an invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), while ex-President Donald Trump is set to deliver a keynote speech to close out the conference in Orlando, Florida next week. According to CNN, organisers of CPAC still hope to change Pence’s mind about attending, however, the former vice president is planning to stay under the radar for the next six months. It is worth mentioning that the January 6 Capitol riots and Pence’s role in certifying the results of the election for President Joe Biden had led to tensions between the two former leaders.
Unlike Trump, Pence even attended Biden’s inauguration last month, after skipping the former President’s farewell ceremony. Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short even said that the former VP accepts that Biden is the duly elected President of the United States, despite Pence playing a role in perpetuating baseless election fraud theories that Trump repeatedly pushed ahead of the attack on the Capitol building. Short even added that Trump and Pence “departed amicably” and they’ve spoken since.
Meanwhile, Trump is set to make his first public appearance since leaving the White House on January 20. Trump will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 28 where he is likely to highlight the ideas he has for the 'future of the Republican Party', said an official of the American Conservative Union. Even though the full lineup has not yet been announced about the event and is subject to change, Trump’s address is on the table.
Former US President’s first, extended on-camera presence would come after in the recent weeks he continued to reportedly rage at the top Republicans who pushed back against him including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator John Thune who is also the Number 2 Republican in the Senate along with the longtime GOP political operative Karl Rove.
Contradicting media outlet’s sources, Trump’s spokesperson Jason Miller responded to CNBC on the same matter saying, “Fake news. We’re focused on winning back the House and Senate in 2022.” The former President, who promoted the ‘America First’ policy and isolated the country from numerous treaties and institutions, is planning on backing several primary contenders who also support his “Make America Great Again” agenda.