Former Vice President Mike Pence met with a group of House Republicans this week to discuss the party’s political agenda going forward.
Pence met Tuesday with members of the Republican Study Committee, which he previously served as chairman of from 2005 to 2007 during his time in the House of Representatives.
Pictures posted to the committee’s social media showed Pence alongside House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ia.), Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), as well as others.
The group met at Pence’s new Virginia office.
Speaking to reporters after the nearly two-hour meeting, Banks said that Pence told the group that he maintains a strong relationship with former President Trump.
Banks said the ex-VP gave him the sense that the two men have the same rapport that they did prior to all that occurred after the 2020 presidential election.
“Mike Pence is a statesman, he’s an optimist and he’s a unifier. That’s what makes him unique and our moment and that’s why I think he’s, he’ll have a powerful moment in the future, the Indiana lawmaker said, arguing that the former vice president would play a role in unifying the GOP.
Pence, according to Banks, told the group that he would be launching his own political organization to promote the Trump agenda.
“He will be launching his efforts in the near future and his efforts will be related to defending the Trump-Pence record that he played a large part of and that House Republicans played a large part of,” Banks said.
“As far as he’s concerned — and as far as I think we’re concerned — Republicans are more unified than some are giving us credit for,” he continued, noting the recent media coverage of political divisions in the party.
Pence’s relationship with Trump soured in the two months after the November election, with issues coming to a head during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
The Electoral College went 306-232 for Biden, but Trump alleged that widespread fraud had tipped the results in swing states.
Courts rejected those claims, and Trump refused to concede, though in the aftermath of the riots, he pledged a “peaceful transition of power.”
For his part, Pence faced considerable pushback from Trump for declining to challenge certain swing-state electoral votes to turn the election in their favor in his capacity as president of the Senate.
Even as the riots flared, Trump took to Twitter to complain that the veep “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”
The entire incident brought their relationship to a head, with Pence reportedly leaving furious at the then-president’s behavior.
Despite that, Pence had nothing but kind words for his former boss after President Biden was sworn in.
When asked by CNN about the deadly Capitol siege and it’s impact on Trump and Pence’s relationship, Banks said the former president’s actions ahead of the riot “never came up” during Tuesday’s meeting.
Banks went on to offer some insight into Pence’s thinking politically, saying that the former vice president compared the current political dynamic to 2009, when Democrats took over the White House, Senate and House.
“He talked about how in 2009, the new Democrat president, Democrat House, Democrat Senate — how similar that moment was to this moment,” Banks said.
“A massive spending deal Democrats pushed in 2009 that overreached, every single [House] Republican voted against in 2009. That sure looks like the $1.9 trillion bill that’s on the floor this week.”
“The more Democrats overreach, the more likely we are going to have a 2010 type midterm to win back the majority,” Banks continued, adding, “[Pence] sort of senses the similarity in that moment to this moment.”
Pence tweeted of Tuesday’s meeting, “As former Chairman of the RSC, I look forward to continuing to fight for the Conservative ideals that have made America great.”
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