Pence stops in Raleigh to promote book; stays mum on presidential run

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Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Pence stops in Raleigh to promote book; stays mum on presidential run
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In Raleigh, former Vice President Mike Pence wouldn't say whether he was planning to run for president but did say he was "very concerned about where the country is today."

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Former Vice President Mike Pence stopped in Raleigh on Tuesday night to promote his new autobiography.

He said he will talk to his family about a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 during the Christmas holiday.

"We're going to give it prayerful consideration, keep listening and go where we are called," he said. "I can tell you we're humbled by it, and I'm very concerned about where the country is today."

Pence also gave a foreign policy address that was sponsored by the Jesse Helms Foundation

In it, he said President Joe Biden's administration needs to reinvest in the military the same way he and President Donald Trump did. He also called out Biden's hasty exit from Afghanistan.

"I'm standing here in North Carolina," said Pence from a stage inside a ballroom at the Marriott across from Crabtree Valley Mall. "The last time I checked, it is home to the most active duty armed forces of the United States and veterans than any other state in America."

Though he praised some of President Trump's international dealings, Pence didn't say whether his party should distance itself from the former president.

"I think the party needs to modernize its get-out-the-vote effort," said Robert Wilkie, a Fayetteville native and former Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President Trump.

He said he believes the party needs to stop thinking Election Day is the day of all days.

"You're going to have a competitive race for 2024," Wilkie said. "We've got very qualified people and I think we'll be fine in the end if we fix what went wrong in the last cycle."

Much did go right for Republicans in the state last month.

Congressman Ted Budd became a senator, filling the seat left by the retiring Sen. Richard Burr, a fellow Republican. Though the GOP fell one seat short of a supermajority in the State House, it did capture that in the State Senate, which gives the party hope moving forward.

"When you talk about growing our economy, you talk about national security, securing our southern border, these are the ideas that any our candidates are going to be able to pick up and they'll be able to advance on," said Michael Whatley, chair of the NCGOP.

Whatley said it's too early to endorse any particular person. But President Trump, who has already announced his intention to run in 2024, would be a formidable candidate.