Former Vice President Mike Pence in his campaign announcement video. (Still from video)
Former Vice President Mike Pence made his presidential bid official early Wednesday in a video highlighted by optimism, even as it acknowledged the country’s economic, political and cultural turmoil.
“Today, our country’s in a lot of trouble,” Pence said in the video, which went live at 5:30 a.m.
As he spoke, images and headlines depicted high gas prices, recent bank failures, inflationary fears, and shots of controversial foreign political leaders. The video also featured hot-button cultural issues, such as a Black Lives Matter protest, a rocky withdrawal from Afghanistan, a surge in migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border, a transgender swimmer and a drag queen story time.
But Pence quickly pivoted toward inspiration, layering on “we can” statements.
“We can turn this country around. But different times call for different leadership, he said, emphasizing his signature morality and faith.
Pence also drew from former President Ronald Reagan and urged Americans, “to believe in themselves again, and to believe in each other.”
And he sought to remind voters of his resume, with stints as a congressman, Indiana governor and vice president — though he made no mention of former President Donald Trump. Once his running mate, Trump is now his opponent for the GOP nomination.
“Together, we can bring this country back,” Pence concluded. “And the best days for the greatest nation on earth are yet to come.”
Pence plans several Iowa events today, including a CNN Town Hall.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced his bid Tuesday, after recent launches from U.S. Sen Tim Scott of South Carolina and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Other Republican candidates include Trump — who leads the race for the Republican primary — as well as political commentator Larry Elder, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
This story was published earlier by the Indiana Capital Chronicle, an affiliate of the nonprofit States Newsroom network, which includes the Florida Phoenix.
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