A new super PAC formed to support former Vice President Mike Pence’s all-but-certain 2024 White House campaign launched on Tuesday, with a mission to “reintroduce” the former vice president “as his own man.”
And the establishment of the super PAC, titled Committed to America, is the clearest signal to date that Pence is likely just a couple of weeks away from declaring his candidacy for president and jumping into an increasingly crowded GOP nomination race. News of the super PAC’s formation was shared first with Fox News and roughly a dozen other news organizations.
“People know Mike Pence, they just don’t know him well,” veteran Republican political consultant Scott Reed said. Reed will serve as co-chair of the newly formed super PAC.
And the job of the new super PAC is to make sure Americans get to know well the person who served four years as then-President Donald Trump’s loyal vice president, according to Reed, who managed GOP presidential nominee Sen. Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign and who directed political operations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for more than a decade.
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“This campaign is going to reintroduce Mike Pence to the country as his own man, not as vice president but as a true economic, social and national security conservative – a Reagan conservative,” Reed said.
Reed will be joined as a co-chair by former Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, who represented parts of Dallas and surrounding suburbs for 16 years and chaired the conservative House Republican Conference. Hensarling was one of Pence’s closest allies during their tenure together on Capitol Hill.
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Bobby Saparow, a veteran Republican campaign manager who steered GOP Gov. Brian Kemp’s comfortable victory last November over Democrat challenger Stacey Abrams in Georgia, is coming on board as Committed to America’s executive director. And longtime Republican communicator Mike Ricci, who served as communications director for then-House Speaker Paul Ryan and later for then-Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, will run communications for the new super PAC.
Officials with the super PAC say their initial emphasis will be on Iowa, whose caucuses lead off the GOP presidential nominating calendar, as well as New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the other early voting states in the Republican primary and caucus schedule.
“We’re going to organize Iowa, all 99 counties, like we’re running him for county sheriff,” Reed said.
Pence, in his years in Congress, as Indiana governor and as vice president, was seen as a champion for social conservative voters who play an outsized role in Iowa Republican politics.
A source familiar with the new super PAC said, “We have a good handle on roughly how many people vote in this caucus. A large proportion of them are self-described evangelical Christians. Mike’s committed to spending a lot of time in Iowa. And we think his message and his track record is going to resonate with these voters.”
Another source familiar with the new super PAC said that while Committed to America will shine a spotlight on Iowa, it will also heavily organize in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and votes second in the nominating calendar. And sources added that “we are not going to cede South Carolina because there are a couple of local candidates running,” referring to former U.N. Ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who launched her GOP presidential campaign in February, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who’s expected to declare his candidacy for president next week.
Super PACs, known as independent expenditure-only committees, are legally allowed to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals and to spend unlimited sums to support or oppose political candidates. Unlike traditional PACs, they are prohibited under long-standing federal rules from either coordinating or contributing directly to a candidate or candidate’s campaign.
Both Haley and Scott have the backing of super PACs, as does former President Donald Trump, who’s the clear polling front-runner right now as he makes his third straight White House run. So does Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who currently remains on the 2024 sidelines but, along with Pence, is expected in the next couple of weeks to declare his candidacy for president.
The pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down, is in the process of taking on some of the traditional roles of a presidential campaign, such as voter contact and get-out-the vote efforts in the key states.
Committed to America is also planning a similar role when it comes building increasingly expensive voter contact, turnout and data programs.
Saparow, pointing to his efforts in the field in Georgia last year, said that “we are going to do something very similar. … You will see that what we built out with Gov. Kemp is going to be taken to the national stage. So, we will also be doing a very extensive paid voter contact program through Committed to America. We have all the confidence in the world that the results that we were able to garner for Gov. Kemp we can duplicate for the vice president.”
“There is a recipe and there is a roadmap of success that I’ve worked on in the past that I believe we’ll be able to replicate with the vice president,” Saparow said.
Sources familiar with the super PAC wouldn’t share their fundraising and spending expectations, other than to say that “we’re going to raise and spend as much money as it takes to be successful and win.”
And they declined to share their strategy when it comes to painting contrasts with Trump and with DeSantis, who is polling in second place in the latest GOP presidential nomination surveys, behind Trump but ahead of Pence and the rest of the other actual and potential White House candidates.
Pence spent much of 2021 and 2022 crisscrossing the country, campaigning and fundraising on behalf of fellow Republicans who were running in last year’s midterm elections. And he also traveled extensively last autumn and this past winter on a book tour for his memoir, “So Help Me God,” in which he showcased successes of the Trump-Pence administration but also spotlighted criticisms of Trump that generated plenty of headlines.
Pence’s travels took him numerous times to the early voting states. The former vice president has also beefed up his political team since last autumn as he’s built toward launching a presidential campaign.