Rep. Chip Roy of Texas apparently praised Pence for continuing to count Electoral College votes to certify President Joe Biden‘s victory last year even after a mob of Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol in a bid to stop the process.
That move elicited applause from Pence’s fellow Republicans, a source familiar told DailyMail.com
Some GOP lawmakers at the meeting even ‘encouraged’ Pence to run for president, one congressman said – a move that Pence has not yet ruled out, even if it means going head-to-head against Trump in a contentious primary race.
‘People said they hope he’s going to be a big voice in 2024,’ Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska told reporters after the meeting.
‘I’m a fan of him. I’m not here to push him one way or the other, but I like Vice President Pence’s character, I like what he stands for.’
Pence spoke at a Republican Study Committee gathering in Washington, DC, the day after attending a fundraising dinner hosted by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a Republican Study Committee meeting in Washington, DC on Wednesday morning
Ramped-up public appearances, sit-downs with Republican officials and a number of high-profile endorsements in this year’s midterm elections have all fueled rumors that Pence is considering a run for the White House.
Asked by DailyMail.com how Pence took the encouragement, Bacon said the ex-veep ‘smiled.’
Rep. Don Bacon, who voted to impeach Donald Trump over the Capitol riot, said lawmakers at the meeting ‘encouraged’ Pence to run for president in 2024
‘I think he appreciates the positive feedback,’ the Nebraska Republican said.
Trump was not mentioned during the meeting, he said. Bacon was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the ex-president over the January 6 Capitol riot.
‘[Pence] was thanked in there for his courage on January 6, and I think people embraced his message and it was very positive,’ he added.
Another RSC member, Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky, affirmed that lawmakers voiced their appreciation for his actions in defiance of Trump’s plot.
‘The vice president is a real moral force within our party, he’s a true leader, he’s earned respect from Republicans and other Americans all over this country,’ Barr told the media.
However he declined to affirm whether his colleagues were pushing Pence to run for president.
‘I think the vice president said it best – he’s focused on 2022. He’s always been an advocate for House Republicans, an advocate for the Republican Study Committee, and as he said, his focus is 100 percent on helping us regain the majority,’ Barr said.
Pence arrived at the Capitol Hill Club for the meeting early on Wednesday morning, but managed to evade cameras by leaving through a connected exit at the Republican National Committee headquarters.
A video of Pence’s arrival was shared with DailyMail.com by the Tennessee Star, taken by staff photographer Anthony Peltier
His top aide, Marc Short, was also present, though he did not stop to speak with reporters.
Pence shared photos of himself on Twitter addressing the Republican lawmakers
‘He’s always been an advocate for House Republicans, an advocate for the Republican Study Committee, and as he said, his focus is 100 percent on helping us regain the majority,’ one lawmaker said of Pence
A source also confirmed to DailyMail.com that Pence received a standing ovation for counting Electoral College votes on January 6 despite pressure from Trump
Despite neither formally declaring their candidacy yet, the growing furor around a Trump-Pence primary challenge is serving to further fracture the relationship between the former running mates.
It ruptured when Pence refused to go along with Trump and his allies’ plan to overturn the 2020 election, which the ex-vice president has since said he had no Constitutional right to do.
The growing number of Congressional candidates Pence is backing in the 2022 midterm elections is already testing the strength of Trump’s hold over the GOP.
Both Republican leaders are set to host dueling Friday events in Arizona for their respective gubernatorial candidates.
Pence is appearing on behalf of Karrin Taylor Robson, a former Reagan administration staffer who also served on the Arizona Board of Regents.
Trump meanwhile is holding his second rally of the year on behalf of Kari Lake, an ex-local news anchor who endeared herself to the former president by promoting his false 2020 election fraud claims.
Robson is also backed by Arizona’s term-limited Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who infuriated Trump when he refused to overturn Biden’s narrow victory in the state.