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Pence declined invitation to attend CPAC: reports

Former Vice President Mike Pence declined an invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next week, according to multiple reports.

Organizers of the annual conservative conference are seeking to change the former vice president’s mind about attending or giving remarks, an unidentified source confirmed to CNN.

Another unidentified source confirmed to the outlet that Pence is planning to stay out of the headlines for at least six months after leaving office in January.  

The former vice president announced earlier this month that he will join the Heritage Foundation as a distinguished visiting fellow. He is also set to start a podcast, pen a monthly op-ed, and speak at conferences and colleges in a new role as the Ronald Reagan Presidential Scholar at the conservative Young America’s Foundation.

CPAC will kick off on Thursday in Orlando, Fla. The annual conference will end next Sunday, with former President Trump set to give closing remarks in his first public appearance since leaving the White House last month.

Two sources familiar with the matter confirmed to The Hill that the former president will speak about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. He is also expected to attack President Biden’s immigration platform.

The annual conference is traditionally held in Maryland, but it was moved to Orlando this year in order to avoid strict coronavirus restrictions.

The conference comes amid an intraparty struggle among Republicans over Trump’s place in the GOP. While some lawmakers have called for continued support for the president, others have urged the party to move on.

Trump last week released a statement unloading on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), calling him a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” and blaming him for Republicans losing majority control of the Senate in 2020.

Trump also vowed to back challengers to Republicans who have been vocal critics of his administration.

The Hill has reached out to Pence and the American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC, for comment.

Tags CPAC Donald Trump Joe Biden Mike Pence Mike Pence Mitch McConnell Republican Party

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