Early indications indicate that the 2024 presidential cycle could see a dramatic showdown between former President Donald Trump’s ex-deputy Mike Pence. 

The former vice president fueled speculation that he’s launching a White House bid in 2024 on Thursday when he delivered a speech championing ‘educational freedom’ at a small conservative college in Loudoun County, Virginia. 

Trump is still a powerful, but polarizing figure in Republican politics. A Morning Consult poll found that 67 percent of GOP voters want Trump to run for another term. 

Pence is the favorite of those who have rejected the ex-president. Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor, is close behind. 

Trump has been openly flirting with the idea of running, but has not made a formal announcement. But his ex-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows dropped a new hint when he said on SiriusXM’s The Wilkow Majority: ‘If I were a betting, man … I would tell you to loan me all your money. I would invest all my money and bet that he’s still running. 

“He’s in, we will count on his running.” 

Meadows, who was considered one Trump’s closest friends in office, said he speaks to Trump multiple times per week  

The former president has repeatedly claimed at rallies of late that he has to wait until after the 2022 midterm election to announce due to ‘campaign finance laws.’ 

Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows says he is willing to put 'all his money' on the former president making another bid for the White House

Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s chief staffer, says he’s willing to risk ‘all of his money’ for the former president to make another bid for the White House

He is now investing his energy into his new social media venture Truth Social which has got off to a rocky start after shares tumbled.  

Pence has made a lot of public appearances lately, but has resisted criticism from his former boss. 

Pence made 25-minute campaign-style remarks to Patrick Henry College. He lambasted critical race theory, education officials, and claimed that they ‘put political interest ahead of the interests our kids’.

He also praised the Trump administration’s educational policies, including the 1776 Commission, which was closed down by the Biden administration. 

He said, “Critical Race Theory is founded on the slander of America being a racist nation.” ‘America has been the most just, righteous and inclusive nation the planet has ever known.

Pence also stated that “children as young and as old as kindergarten are being taught not to be ashamed of skin color” and that science, math, history, and even mathematics are increasingly being taught with racial grievances.  

Mike Pence’s visit to Patrick Henry College is just one among many appearances he’s made across the nation that have fuelled 2024 speculations

He criticized Virginia’s majority Democrat leaders for making school distant during the coronavirus pandemic, but added a silver lining’ that parents could ‘peek into the virtual classroom of their child’s.

Pence stated, ‘As such, millions upon millions of parents – just as you all here in Loudoun County are rightly concerned to see that in many of our schools the primary mission is not longer to educate America’s youth. But in many cases, it is to indoctrinate our youth with radical left-wing ideologies. 

Pence stated that a ‘patriotic education’ is essential for the survival of liberty, but didn’t go into detail about what it was. 

According to Insider, he was greeted by a warm crowd of around 300 people. 

The Herald, the school’s newspaper, printed a cover featuring a Trump campaign button. The ex-president’s name was scribbled out and then replaced with ‘Pence 2024’.

Pence’s visit at the private Christian school was less than a week before Virginia voters go to the polls to end a tight governors race widely seen as a referendum against Joe Biden’s administration.

Youngkin has mostly avoided national Republican figures during his campaign, but Trump is offering some last-minute assistance. The ex-president calls in to a pro Youngkin telerally on Monday the day before Election Day. 

Although Pence’s event was not linked to Youngkin’s, his speech was focused on educational issues which have become a lightning rod in the US, especially in Virginia’s Loudoun County.

Biden’s Justice Department caused right-wing fury when it issued a memo instructing the FBI to work closely with local law enforcement to investigate a “disturbing pattern” of violent incidents in school settings. 

This cover was published by The Herald, Patrick Henry College’s newspaper. It was just in time to celebrate the Pence event.

The National School Boards Association sent a letter that appeared to have compared the parents to domestic terrorists. However, the group has since reversed that statement.  

Parents are angry at mask mandates and critical race theory, which have made the normally apolitical stage in education an ideological battleground. 

Critical race theory, a long-standing academic concept, is more often explored in law school than in grades K-12. It states that the US justice system, health care, and other institutions are inherently racism. 

Republicans, however, claim the term teaches students hate based on skin color.

Pence said it was ‘nothing but state-sponsored racism’ and should be ‘opposed by every American of any race, color, or creed in all schools in the land.

He also attacked the Biden DOJ’s memo and demanded education reform to be discussed at the local levels.

Pence got a warm reception from his crowd of approximately 300 people on Thursday

On Thursday, Pence was warmly received by his crowd of about 300 people

His remarks were permeated by applause and enthusiastic reactions, and the crowd was all smiles when he spoke with people after the address

His remarks were accompanied by enthusiastic reactions and applause, and the crowd was full of smiles when he spoke to people after the address.

‘Let me make it clear: The federal government does not have the right to investigate parents who speak out at school board meetings. Pence stated that Attorney General Garland ought to rip up his memo. 

The ex-vice-president also attacked Barack Obama for dismissing fake outrage’ and ‘phony-trumped-up cultural wars’ while he was campaigning in Virginia for Terry McAuliffe’s election.

Pence stated that outrage is not fake and it is real. “And it’s grounded on love for this country, and their children. 

Loudoun County has seen a lot of division over the ideological battle for public schools. 

A father was arrested at a June school board event there when he grew upset at the county superintendent claiming ‘we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.’ 

A recent Morning Consult poll found that Trump was still widely favored to run in 2024, but Pence ranks high among Republican alternatives

A Morning Consult poll showed that Trump is still highly favored to run for the presidency in 2024. However, Pence ranks high among Republican alternatives.

Later, he claimed that he was trying tell them that his teenage girl had been raped in a girls’ high-school bathroom by a “boy in a skirt”. A Virginia boy, 15, was found guilty in a case that stemmed from the incident.

Pence spoke out loudly about what is likely to be a hot topic in the 2022 midterm cycles.  

He marketed his appearance to Patrick Henry College as a series speaking engagements that are fueling 2024 gossip. 

Monday’s visit by Vice President Mike Pence to Iowa will be his last. 

He has also been attending fundraising dinners of the Republican Party, including one in New Hampshire in June – another popular state for those who are preparing to run for the White House.