Pence Launches $20 Million Project to Promote ‘Conservative Principles’

The former vice president’s think tank will spend $20 million in 2024, much of it aimed at promoting policies championed by traditional conservatives.
Pence Launches $20 Million Project to Promote ‘Conservative Principles’
Former Vice President Mike Pence enters the debate area of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on Sept. 27, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Lawrence Wilson

Former Vice President Mike Pence has started a policy and advocacy initiative aimed at advancing conservative policies among political candidates and elected officials, which he says successfully built American prosperity and strength during the Trump administration.

The American Solutions Project was announced on Feb. 20 by Advancing American Freedom (AAF), a Washington-based organization founded by Mr. Pence, to defend traditionally conservative policies and values against “liberal attacks and media distortions,” the organization said in a statement.

“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 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.”

Mr. Pence briefly challenged former President Donald Trump, his former running mate, for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. The former vice president suspended the effort in October 2023 after his message failed to gain traction, saying, “This is not my time.”

The group’s three-fold objective is to shape political majorities by providing conservative policies for political candidates, champion conservative legislation on domestic and foreign matters, and defend conservative principles.

AAF intends to spend $20 million on the effort in 2024, which includes $8 million for The American Solutions Project, $7 million for AAF’s operating expenses, and $5 million for the AAF Foundation’s operating expenses.

The AAF advisory board includes an array of conservative figures from religion, politics, and media, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, and Ed Meese, U.S. attorney general under President Ronald Reagan. They are also joined by Trump administration veterans David Bernhardt and Kellyanne Conway.

The board is also made up of religious conservatives, including actor Kirk Cameron, Focus on the Family head Jim Daly, and Dallas-based pastor Robert Jeffress, as well as business leaders such as Oracle General Manager Seema Verma.

AAF leaders said the effort is a defense against what they see as attacks on conservative principles by the “radical left.”

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Vice President Pence, Americans experienced unprecedented prosperity. The policies that led to those accomplishments are now under attack by the radical Left and the Biden Administration, and the foundation of our Nation is under siege,” AAF Executive Director Paul Teller said in a statement.

“Advancing American Freedom will push back against the Left’s agenda and champion policies across the country that advance American liberties, American strength and security, and American prosperity.”

During his presidential run, Mr. Pence often drew a distinction between the policies of what he called the Trump–Pence administration, which he lauded, and the actions of President Trump surrounding Jan. 6, which he criticized.

“I am incredibly proud of the record of the Trump–Pence administration,” Mr. Pence told a Republican group in Davenport, Iowa, on Aug. 10.

“In four short years, we rebuilt our military, revived our economy, we secured our border, we appointed conservatives to our courts at every level, including three new conservatives that were part of the majority that sent Roe vs. Wade to the ash heap of history and gave America a new beginning for the right to life.”

Earlier that day, Mr. Pence told a group of veterans that he negotiated President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy, a key part of the administration’s approach to immigration, on behalf of the president. Mr. Pence has also spoken of confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“I'll always believe that we charted a course for restoring American security and prosperity,” Mr. Pence told Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds during an interview at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 11.

Yet when asked on July 10 about the events of Jan. 6, 2021, Mr. Pence said President Trump had erred by insisting that Mr. Pence refuse to certify the results of the electoral vote in 2021.

“Anyone who puts themselves above the Constitution should never be president in the first place. And anyone who asks anyone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president again,” Mr. Pence said.

AAF’s policy agenda appears to sing the same tune, affirming the successes of the Trump era while distancing itself from Trump-style populism.

“Our policy priorities in 2024 will offer the opportunity for conservatives to lead and offer a stark contrast to the agenda of Big Government politicians—juxtaposing our vision with that of the populist Right and progressive Left,” the organization said in a statement.

Reducing federal spending and taxation, promoting free trade, defeating the Chinese Communist Party, restoring U.S. leadership abroad, and increasing American energy production are the group’s initial policy priorities.