Manchester, N.H.: Former Vice President Mike Pence cast the 2024 election as a fight for the future of conservatism and his party as he called on fellow Republicans to reject the “siren song of populism” championed by former President Donald Trump and his followers.
“Should the new populism of the right seize and guide our party, the Republican Party we’ve long known will cease to exist and the fate of American freedom would be in doubt,” Pence said Wednesday afternoon in what his campaign plugged as a major speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.
Pence’s plea comes at a critical time for his campaign, which has been struggling to build momentum since its launch. Four months ahead of Iowa’s kickoff caucuses, Trump remains the race’s undisputed front-runner, while Pence still polls in single digits.
But he is championing policies that have fallen out of favor with many Republican voters who have embraced Trump’s anti-establishment rhetoric, protectionist trade policies and isolationist worldview.
“If we are to defeat Joe Biden and turn America around, the Republican Party must be the party of limited government, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility and traditional moral values,” Pence argued in his speech. He compared the right’s ascendant populism — generally defined as a focus on ordinary people’s complaints about big government and so-called elites — to the left’s progressivism, calling them “fellow travelers on the same road to ruin.”