Mike Pence’s Campaign Grapples With Fundraising Woes

Former Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at the Christians United for Israel summit on July 17, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Happy Wednesday! Donald Trump told the world on Tuesday he’s been informed he’s the target of another criminal probe and expects to be indicted on charges related to January 6. On the same day the special counsel leading that investigation, Jack Smith, was spotted by CNN grabbing a bite to eat at a Subway in Washington.

Up to Speed

  • President Joe Biden has reinforced his lean campaign team, adding three new members to the payroll to bring the total employees to seven, Politico reports. The announcement follows his campaign’s $72 million second-quarter joint fundraising haul with the Democratic National Committee. Biden revealed Tuesday his campaign will be headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • At the Christians United for Israel Summit outside Washington on Monday, Republican presidential candidates, Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and former Vice President Mike Pence, attacked Democrats’ stances on Israel. DeSantis called the Biden administration’s Israel policies “disgraceful.” Haley added: “The Democratic Party is the definition of extreme.” And, Pence criticized recent remarks from Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. “President Biden and every Democrat member of Congress should denounce them,” the former vice president said. 
  • A newly released anti-Trump ad from the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down uses artificial intelligence to create a voiceover that sounds a lot like the former president. The audio is a reading of a recent Truth Social post from Trump criticizing Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. Never Back Down previously used AI to add fighter jets to footage of a DeSantis speech.
  • Retired Navy Capt. Hung Cao launched his campaign for U.S. Senate in Virginia, hoping to win the seat occupied by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine. Cao, a Republican, lost a closer-than-expected congressional race against Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton in 2022. Cao joins a Republican field that also includes activist and former Ron DeSantis aide Scott Parkinson.
  • Several House Freedom Caucus members hope to succeed Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania as the group’s leader when his term expires at year’s end. Contenders include Republican Reps. Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Chip Roy of Texas, Bob Good of Virginia, and Warren Davidson of Ohio, according to Politico. The Freedom Caucus board is expected to choose Perry’s successor.
  • No Labels, a centrist group seeking presidential ballot access for a third party candidate, officially launched its 2024 effort at an event in New Hampshire on Monday, reports the New York Times. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and former Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah jointly introduced the group’s policy manifesto but told reporters the pair were not coming out as an official third-party presidential ticket. The two said that No Labels would not even form a ticket if the Republican and Democratic nominees embraced moderate positions. “That won’t happen if they’re not threatened,” said Manchin.
  • In a unanimous decision released Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court dismissed Trump’s petition to prevent an Atlanta district attorney from investigating alleged 2020 election interference and discard evidence from a special purpose grand jury. According to Georgia’s top court, Trump failed to demonstrate “extraordinary circumstances” that would warrant its intervention.

Pence Focuses on Fundraising as Debate Pressure Mounts 

Mike Pence is racing to amass enough campaign donors to qualify for a crucial Republican debate in Milwaukee that is five weeks away.

The former vice president remains short of 40,000 individual donors required to earn a spot in the televised August 23 faceoff. To get there, Pence is focused on converting donors to the political nonprofit organization he founded after leaving office into campaign contributors. For this and other fundraising efforts, Pence is leaning on direct mail. It’s a historic strength for the former vice president but takes longer to produce results than digital appeals.

Fundraising through online platforms is also a priority. Like any modern presidential contender, Pence is using media interviews and social media posts to acquire donors and boost his war chest. The campaign acknowledges it’s been slower going than preferred but says the former vice president is on track. Just Tuesday, spokesman Devin O’Malley reveals, Pence’s appearance on “Fox & Friends” generated 200 new donors in the 15 minutes immediately following the Fox News morning show segment.

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