LAS VEGAS – Former Vice President Mike Pence this weekend vowed that "we’re going to win back this country in 2024."
But that's the only hint Pence gave regarding a potential bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, as he headlined the Saturday evening session of the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The former vice president used his address to continue to target President Biden's treatment of Israel.
"Make no mistake about it, President Joe Biden has turned his back on Israel," the former vice president charged as he spoke to the influential crowd.
And Pence claimed that under Biden, "America is a nation in crisis."
Pence was one of eight prominent Republicans speaking at the four-day RJC confab whom pundits view as potential 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls. Pence's one-time boss, former President Donald Trump, who's repeatedly flirted with making another White House run in 2024, addressed the crowd via a recorded video.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, speaking ahead of Pence on Saturday night, noted that "a lot of people have come here to audition."
And Graham, a long shot White House hopeful in the 2016 cycle, touted that GOP has "a very rich bench."
The conference attracted GOP leaders, activists, rainmakers and mega donors. And the gathering took place in Nevada, the state that holds the fourth contest in the Republican presidential nominating calendar.
The former vice president has already made stops earlier this year in the first three states in the primary and caucus schedule - Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
Cruz, Christie, don’t rule out repeat White House runs
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who spoke at the RJC confab on Friday night, was the runner-up to in the rough and tumble 2016 Republican primary and caucus battle. Asked in an interview with Fox News in Las Vegas if he’s ruling out another run, the senator quickly answered "absolutely not."
"When I ran in ’16, it was the most fun I’ve had in my life," Cruz said. "History shows the runner-up in the Republican Party is almost always the next nominee. We’ll see what President Trump decides to do, but I am going to fight to pull this country back from the abyss because this country’s worth fighting for."
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also addressed the conference. Christie, who ran unsuccessfully for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, told Fox News on Saturday that "having run already, I’m not going to run for the experience. I’ve had the experience. If I run, I run because I think I can win, and I think I can make a difference."
CHRISTIE SAYS HE'LL RUN IN 2024 IF ‘I THINK I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE'
Christie added he’s in no rush to make any decision because "the people of New Hampshire, the people of Iowa, and most of the people in the country know me, so I don’t have to go through the introductory process. So I’ll take my time, I’ll be thoughtful about it."
A second tough 2024 poll for Biden
A plurality of Democrats say their party will have a better chance in 2024 of keeping the White House without President Biden as their standard bearer, according to a recent poll.
Forty-four percent of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents questioned in a NPR-PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted Oct. 18-22 and released last week said that having a new presidential nominee would give the party a better shot in the next White House race, with 36% saying its best to stick with Biden as the nominee. One in five weren’t sure.
The president’s approval ratings have taken a beating the past three months, in the wake of Biden's much-criticized handling of the turbulent U.S. exit from Afghanistan and following a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the spread of the highly infectious delta variant. The president’s deteriorating numbers were also compounded by the latest surge of migrants trying to cross into the U.S. along the southern border with Mexico, as well as a well-documented rise in inflation.
The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey follows a poll in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire that included similar findings regarding Biden.
Thirty-seven percent of likely Democratic primary voters in 2024 questioned in a University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Granite State survey said that they’d vote for Biden if the primary were held today, a drop of 12 points from UNH’s previous poll in July. Fifty-two percent of those questioned in the Oct. 14-18 poll said they were unsure, up nine points, with 11% saying they’d vote for another candidate.