Pence Launches Effort To Defend Conservative Movement From Populism

Former vice president Mike Pence (R) is preparing to launch an effort to protect conservatism from what he described as “unprincipled populism” that is permeating the movement.

Pence’s efforts are being made through his group, Advancing American Freedom, which seeks to uphold the “successful policies of recent years” in the hopes of preserving their benefits of “prosperity at home and restored America’s strength abroad.” The group is also motivated by “elevating traditional American values.”

The organization’s latest initiative, called the American Solutions Project, has a target audience of conservatives who have been influenced by populist agendas. The project seeks to convince those on the right who have swayed to return to genuine conservatism.

It includes an investment of $20 million, which is going to cover costs for infrastructure, staff payments and advertising.

After the announcement on February 21, Pence stood by his motivation that the United States is built upon “conservative principles that have stood the test of time.” He told RealClearPolitics in an interview that the nation “must hold fast” to the values on which it was founded instead of becoming “swayed by movements or personalities.”

Pence explained that “many” members of the conservative movement are abandoning the nation’s founding values and “chasing the siren” of the populist agenda. The former vice president did not specify any names when lamenting the state of the conservative movement and those who reject its traditional values.

However, the American Solutions Project would instead “stay true” to the principles on which America was founded, making it “the greatest nation on earth.” Pence also expressed confidence that the public would show support for his effort and his organization.

The project has already been endorsed by several notable figures in the conservative movement including Ed Feulner, founder and former president of the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation and Victor Smith, chairman of Catholic University of America.

The American Solutions Project is not the first time Pence has voiced opposition to the populist agenda infiltrating conservative politics. In September 2023, the former vice president told attendees at an event in New Hampshire that conservatism is facing a threat by something other than Democrats.

He said that populism is an effort to gain control of the Republican party and that it leads down “the same road” as progressivism.