While President Trump has been besieged by the media and Democrats, Vice President Mike Pence has quietly been launching his own leadership PAC to help channel money to congressional Republicans ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
That could betoken a possible run for the presidency in 2020 by Pence if Trump’s presidency comes to a grinding halt.
According to Nick Ayers, a senior adviser to Pence in the 2016 campaign who will be running the PAC, planning for the PAC began in December, before the travails of Trump had started to mushroom. Ayers stated that the PAC is simply to help members of the GOP, explaining, “The Vice President is playing a leading role in passing legislation on the Hill. He wants to support House and Senate members who are helping pass the president’s agenda.”
Yet former vice presidents Dick Cheney and Joe Biden, neither of whom ran for president after serving as vice president, set up such fundraising vehicles. Notably, George H.W. Bush did; he formed the Fund for America’s Future when he was preparing for his 1988 presidential run.
The Great America Committee, which can raise as much as $5,000 per year from individual donors and other federal PACs, will manage the database of donors and supporters that Pence has collected over the course of his career.
As Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsible Politics, pointed out, “The general theory on having a leadership PAC is that it’s good to have friends and even better to have friends that owe you favors, because you never know when you’ll have to call them in.”
As one House Republican told Politico after The New York Times reported that James Comey had a memo stating that Trump asked him about slowing down or ending the investigation into Russia/Trump ties, “If what the [New York Times] reported is true, Pence is probably rehearsing.”