EXCLUSIVE: Former Vice President Mike Pence says he is “well known,” but “not known well,” telling Fox News Digital this week that he is taking to the campaign trail in the hopes that GOP voters see him “in a fresh light” — one that shows that he is the “most qualified, the most tested and the most proven conservative in the race” who can get the nation “back.”
“We need new leadership in the Republican Party. We need an American leader who, on day one, can move forward on the proven conservative agenda and who understands how to get Washington moving and how to get our nation back,” Pence told Fox News Digital. “And if people are looking for that, I’m your man.”
Pence said most Americans know him as “Vice President Mike Pence.”
“But they don’t know that I was a leading House conservative for 12 years; that I’ve battled the big spenders in our own party; that, when I led the Republican Study Committee I actually led the fight against the Wall Street bailout back in 2008,” he said. “They don’t know that I was a conservative governor that battled leaders in my own party to pass the largest tax cut in Indiana history and expand the nation’s largest school choice program and achieved record employment before being elected vice president.”
Pence said his “reason for running” for the White House this cycle is because he believes “the country is in a lot of trouble.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence, 2024 Republican presidential candidate, speaks with members of the media during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on Aug. 11, 2023.(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“I think Joe Biden has weakened America at home and abroad. American families are struggling in this economy. The enemies of freedom are on the march around the world,” he said.
“I want the American people to know that, based on my lifetime of service, that we will be ready day one to put into practice the conservative agenda principles that will make this country secure and prosperous and free again,” Pence said.
The former vice president touted the record of the Trump administration, saying Republican voters appreciate “all that President Trump accomplished during our time in the White House.”
“But people recognize that different times call for different leadership,” Pence said. “I greatly welcome the opportunity to step beyond the role that I took so seriously as vice president of the United States and let people, hopefully, hear my heart and my mind, as the conservative leader I’ve always been.”
Republican presidential candidate and former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Clinton County GOP Hog Roast in Clinton, Iowa, on July 30, 2023.(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
“I was there to be informed, to be prepared, to be of service and to support the president and moving the agenda he was elected to advance,” he said. “I’m proud of the record of the Trump-Pence administration — I was proud to defend our record [during the debate] on the stage, but I really welcome the opportunity for people to see me in a fresh light and to hear my own passion and my leadership.”
Pence said he hopes his performance at the first Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee this week was “the beginning of a fresh look at our candidacy for many Americans.”
“I was grateful for the chance to talk about the issues, but I was just grateful for people to get a sense of, of my leadership style, and my willingness to fight for what I believe in. And what I believe in is the conservative agenda.” he said. “You know, it was the Reagan conservative agenda that drew me to the Republican Party — a commitment to a strong national defense, American leadership in the world, limited government, free market economics, traditional values and the right to life, and I still believe that, while there are other voices in this campaign, there are other priorities that want to take our party in the direction of populism unmoored to conservative principle.”
Brooke Singman is a Fox News Digital politics reporter. You can reach her at [email protected] or @BrookeSingman on Twitter.