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Trump supports new Pence effort to fuse conservatism with MAGA agenda


Is this the future?

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence has launched a new political advocacy group that seeks to fuse traditional conservative thought with the Make America Great Again agenda of former President Donald Trump's administration.

And Donald Trump approves.

The Washington Examiner reports the group will be a 501(c)(4) nonprofit called "Advancing American Freedom" and will defend the Trump-Pence record while attempting to build upon the political movement that put Trump into office, turning it into a winning coalition for the future. It will be headquartered in Washington, D.C., and will build a platform on the "three pillars" of American strength and security, American prosperity, and American liberty.

"Advancing American Freedom plans to build on the success of the last four years by promoting traditional conservative values and promoting the successful policies of the Trump administration," Pence told the Examiner in a statement.

"Conservatives will not stand idly by as the radical left and the new administration attempt to threaten America's standing as the greatest nation in the world with their destructive policies," he said.

The advisory board of Advancing American Freedom reportedly features prominent alumni of the Trump administration, including former senior counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway and former director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow, as well as influential figures among the grassroots conservative movement like Club for Growth president David McIntosh.

"Other members of the advisory board include Trump's director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and former Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Chip Saltsman, Marc Short, and Marty Obst will be co-chairs," the Examiner reports.

Paul Teller, formerly the director of strategic initiatives for Vice President Pence, will serve as the group's executive director.

Advancing American Freedom is also supported by Trump, who said his term in office was "the most successful first term in American history."

"Nice to see Mike highlighting some of our many achievements," he told the Examiner in a statement.

Since leaving office, Vice President Pence has worked to strengthen his ties with conservative grassroots organizations, joining the Heritage Foundation as a distinguished fellow and Young America's Foundation as the Ronald Reagan Presidential Scholar. On April 29, Pence will give his first public address since leaving office at a fundraiser for Palmetto Family Council, the leading Christian social conservative nonprofit organization in the early primary state of South Carolina.

Aides to the former vice president say Pence is uniquely positioned to be a bridge between the old conservative movement and MAGA voters who may not think of themselves as conservatives but supported President Trump's policies.

"There's no doubt when the vice president joined the ticket in 2016, there was a whole new voter that Donald Trump brought in with his focus on China and trade, and he won over a lot of blue-collar votes in the Midwest," one aide told the Examiner.

"This organization will focus on those winning policies that were at the center of that fusion between traditional conservativism and Trumpism," the aide said.

The three pillars of Advancing American Freedom's platform will reportedly defend and expand upon various aspects of the Trump administration's policies. American strength and security will cover immigration, Israel and Middle East peace, and "standing firm against adversaries"; American prosperity will focus on the economy, energy independence, the Trump tax cuts, and deregulation; and American liberty will center on religious liberty, the pro-life movement, and school choice.

While speculation is running rampant about Pence's potential 2024 ambitions, aides to the former vice president said Advancing American Freedom's mission is to develop an agenda to counter the Biden administration's dismantling of Trump's policies, not to launch a presidential campaign.

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