Former Vice President Mike Pence is set to appear on a presidential town hall hosted by CNN and moderated by Dana Bash next month, sparking speculation that the Republican is considering a bid in the GOP primary race. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 7, at 9:00 p.m. ET from Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Pence had previously stated that he would make a decision on running for president “well before late June.” With the presidential town hall lined up, it appears that the former vice president’s decision is imminent. During the event, Pence will answer questions from the CNN anchor and a live audience made up of Iowa Republicans who plan to take part in the Iowa caucuses.
CNN will also host a presidential town hall with GOP candidate Nikki Haley on June 4 in Iowa, moderated by Jake Tapper. This move follows CNN’s recent town hall with former President Donald Trump on May 10, which elicited controversy after Trump clashed with CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins over the 2020 election and the events of January 6.
Pence’s relationship with Trump is expected to be a key topic at the upcoming town hall, given the former vice president’s fallout with the former president following the January 6 Capitol riot. In a March interview with ABC, Pence called for the Republican Party to move on from Trump and have a “fresh start.”
“I think the American people long for leadership at the highest level that’s focused on the issues that are affecting their lives. And also, I think they longed for leadership that will keep faith with our highest traditions,” Pence said.
Currently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis leads the declared Republican candidates after announcing his candidacy on June 2, with Pence and Haley polling around 5%. Other Republican candidates, including Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, are polling below 5%.