After losing the 2020 election, former Vice President Mike Pence set up his office in Virginia. While he may have purchased a $1.93 million dollar house in Carmel, Indiana, the reality is that he's spending a lot of time just outside of Washington, D.C.
In the new book Peril by the Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Pence is described as holding court with Republican lawmakers. "Trying to be in the game for 2024," the book claims. Earlier this year, Pence only scored 1 percent in the CPAC straw poll.
It described Pence's "real project" as seeking "political visibility and rehabilitation," after the breakup he had with former President Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
In February, he welcomed conservatives from Congress, and the book described the meeting as awkward when talking about Trump.
"No one brought up Trump, so Pence did," the book recalls. "He assured them that he and the president had some good phone calls. Nobody asked for more details. It was like listening to a friend talk about a divorce when you hoped to find grounds to like both parties."
Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO) were there, ready for a fight against Biden.
He lectured the conservatives that back in his day, no Republican voted for then-President Barack Obama's stimulus package to save the country after the economic crisis. He wanted to unite the GOP against Biden's COVID stimulus checks and child tax credit.
"This is a defining moment for us, for Republicans," Pence reportedly stated. "Obama left us out of the negotiations and if they didn't have us at the table, we said we're not going to be part of the bill. The party needs to reclaim our mantle on spending."
The book describes Pence as not fully addressing the hypocrisy of the position. Under his administration, ProPublica described it as building a debt so large that it would weigh down the country for years. That was before the COVID bill he passed, the report explained.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) bought into Pence's message, but Biden has come back with revenue enhancements that involve taxing corporations and any individual making over $400,000 a year. He also wants to empower the IRS to go after the uber-wealthy individuals who have refused to pay their taxes over decades. Manchin and Republicans are now poised to face off against a president trying to collect the money owed to the U.S. from deadbeat tax-dodging millionaires and billionaires.