In an attempt to put more distance between himself and Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence is expected to give a speech this weekend that could put the former president on the spot with some of his most ardent supporters.
Pence is slated to speak to the NRA's annual conference this weekend where, according to Politico, he will move to Trump's right on guns at a time when the issue of mass shootings is dominating the headlines once again.
According to the report, Pence and his aides see an opportunity to make Trump look soft on guns based on proposals he made during his presidency which could give Pence's generally moribund plans to run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination a boost.
Politico is reporting, "His speech, according to an adviser, is likely to address both the Nashville and Louisville mass shootings, talk about the importance of mental health facilities, train and supply armed officers at schools and embrace expediting the death penalty for perpetrators."
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The report adds, "What Pence won’t talk about, though, is perhaps more instructive: Championing red flag laws that give law enforcement officials the opportunity to intervene when a person is deemed as high-risk, as well as banning bump stocks. Those two issues were ones Trump was open to or acted upon during his administration. Pence advocated for red flag laws as vice president, but has since disavowed the idea, with his Advancing American Freedom group coming out against it in March 2022."
According to Pence associate Mike Murphy, "He’s moving away from Trump, not toward him."
The report notes that Trump will also speak at the weekend convention, adding, "The dueling appearances come amid an increasingly icy and unprecedented point in their relationship. Never before in American history has the sitting vice president challenged the former president of his own party."
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