The Washington Times Weekly



- BY SETH MCLAUGHLIN AND ALEX SWOYER Ryan Lovelace contribute­d to this report.

Former Vice President Mike Pence on launched Advancing American Freedom, an advocacy group with the mission of promoting and defending policy achievemen­ts of the Trump administra­tion.

Mr. Pence joins a growing list of Trump alumni who have returned to the political trenches leading advocacy groups tasked with preserving the legacy of their former boss and fighting President Biden and the rise of the “radical left.”

“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,” Mr. Pence said. “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.”

Mr. Pence has kept a low profile since leaving office, but the news of his latest venture and a book deal, first reported by Axios, suggest he is preparing to play a more vocal role in the Republican Party and policy debates in Washington.

Mr. Pence made the announceme­nt the same day that former Trump adviser Stephen Miller started a conservati­ve group called America First Legal, which plans to team up with state attorneys general to combat the Biden administra­tion’s immigratio­n agenda.

“For too long, conservati­ve and traditiona­list Americans have been outflanked, outspent, out-organized and outmaneuve­red by radical progressiv­e legal organizati­ons. It has been a yearslong, one-sided legal assault,” Mr. Miller said.

“While radical progressiv­es have wielded these tactics to undermine the law and ‘America First’ values for years, we must deploy these tactics in defense of our nation’s legal, cultural and constituti­onal heritage,” he said.

Liberal groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union succeeded in obstructin­g or reversing Trump administra­tion policies in the courts, and Mr. Miller, who helped shape the Trump administra­tion’s immigratio­n policies, wants his group to do the same.

The ACLU sued the Trump administra­tion 400 times in four years. Many of the challenges were against policies related to immigratio­n and abortion.

Mr. Trump praised Mr. Miller in a press release from his Save America PAC. He described his former immigratio­n guru as a “fearless, principled fighter for the America First movement” and said “he has backbone, integrity and never gives up.”

Mr. Trump’s PAC did not issue a press release after Mr. Pence’s announceme­nt but did release a statement to The Washington Examiner.

“It was the most successful first term in

American history,” Mr. Trump said. “Nice to see Mike highlighti­ng some of our many achievemen­ts!”

Mr. Pence served as Mr. Trump’s loyal wingman for four years, helping to shield him from some of the unease in the Republican ranks over the president’s brash and unconventi­onal approach to the job.

The relationsh­ip was tested as Mr. Trump pursued his claims of massive election fraud.

He pressured Mr. Pence to take the unpreceden­ted step as vice president of unilateral­ly throwing out electoral votes when Congress met in January to certify the election results.

Mr. Pence refused and was slammed as a sellout by the Trump faithful, including members of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to protest the 2020 election results.

Mr. Pence’s team downplays the friction. He said the two men have talked multiple times, including last week about Mr. Pence’s new group.

A number of former Trump officials and confidants, meanwhile, have struck out on their own to form various organizati­ons and foundation­s. Others are seeking elected office.

Former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is running for governor of Arkansas, and Ben Carson, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Developmen­t, has establishe­d the American Cornerston­e Institute.

His group is “dedicated to promoting and preserving individual and religious liberty.”

“It seems that many of the fundamenta­l principles that led to our rise are being pushed aside,” Mr. Carson told Andy Parks at The Washington Times. “Things like faith, things like liberty, community and life.”

Some more controvers­ial figures also are testing Trump ties.

Lawyer Lin Wood, who helped spread Mr. Trump’s claims of a stolen election in Georgia, is campaignin­g to unseat Drew McKissick as chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party.

Mr. Pence is leaning into his Trump connection as well by filling out the advisory board of Advancing American Freedom with several former Trump hands, including Kellyanne Conway, Larry Kudlow and David Bernhardt.

The board also features familiar conservati­ve leaders, including Marjorie

Dannenfels­er, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Rep. David McIntosh, head of the limited-government organizati­on Club for Growth.

“In four years, the Trump-Pence administra­tion laid a foundation of prosperity and innovation that is driving a great American comeback,” Mr. Pence said in an op-ed Thursday in The Washington Times.

“But from their first day in office, the Biden administra­tion and congressio­nal Democrats adopted a radically different approach — one that expands the power of the federal government and elevates left-wing ideology over common sense, and threatens America’s future like never before.

“If unchalleng­ed, the radical left will squander America’s future with more government, more regulation, more illegal immigratio­n, more limits on individual freedom and a steady march towards socialism,” he said. “For conservati­ves and reasonable people of all political persuasion­s, now is the time to stand up for freedom.”

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 ?? ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Former Vice President Mike Pence is one of a number of confidants of former President Donald Trump who are continuing to promote conservati­ve values and are advancing the progress they made during a four-year term in the White House.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Former Vice President Mike Pence is one of a number of confidants of former President Donald Trump who are continuing to promote conservati­ve values and are advancing the progress they made during a four-year term in the White House.

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