Former Vice President Mike Pence will deliver a “major” speech in New Hampshire on Wednesday that will challenge Republican voters to choose between populism and core conservative values.
The speech is an attempt by Mr Pence to please traditional Republican Party voters while taking a thinly veiled swipe at his former boss, former President Donald Trump, who visited the White House in 2016 with a populist brand focused on ordinary Americans and their grievances against Washington powerhouses and other elites.
“The speech will explore the threats of populism detached from conservative principles,” while defining “the choice ahead for both the Republican Party and the nation,” Pence’s campaign said.
Mr. Pence served alongside Mr. Trump in the White House from 2017 to 2021.
Yet he is trying to differentiate himself in a crowded primary domain dominated by Mr. Trump and his brand.
The former vice president made his voice heard during the first GOP primary debate in Milwaukee on Aug. 23, showing a spicier side than people are used to seeing from the Midwest.
He chastised rivals who were unwilling to push for a national 15-week abortion limit and defended his decision not to bow to Mr Trump’s demands following the 2020 election.
Mr. Pence visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in June and backed US support for Kiev forces, even as Mr. Trump and other Republican Party rivals debate whether sending more troops is worthwhile. US dollars to fight in Eastern Europe.
Mr. Pence will deliver his speech, titled “Populism vs. Conservatism: Choice Time for Republicans,” as his polls sit in the low single digits in a race dominated by Mr. Trump.
A Wall Street Journal poll released on Saturday showed Mr Trump enjoying a 46-point lead over his closest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, while Mr Pence drew 2% of primary voters.
The former vice president will deliver his speech at New Hampshire’s first state primary.
His call could also be effective in Iowa, where evangelicals often favor traditional conservative candidates in the primary caucus that kicks off the 2024 cycle.