As uncertainty and controversy continues to swirl around President Trump’s first year in the White House, top Republican officeholders have reportedly begun taking “unheard-of” political steps by launching what The New York Times calls a “shadow campaign for 2020.”
According to the report out this weekend, multiple big-name GOP politicians, including Vice President Mike Pence, are quietly taking all the rights steps ahead of a future presidential run: bolstering donor relationships, courting conservative interest groups all while making sure to grow their profiles in the media.
“Republicans joke that he Pence is acting more like a second-term vice president hoping to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a little over six months ago,” according to The New York Times.
However, Pence’s press secretary Marc Lotter promptly reassured the public that the former Indiana governor has no plans to challenge Trump in 2020.
— Marc Lotter (@VPPressSec) August 5, 2017
— Marc Lotter (@VPPressSec) August 6, 2017
“Claims @VP preparing for 2020 run are ridiculous #FakeNews and nothing more than wishful thinking by New York Times,” Lotter wrote in a tweet.
But Pence’s recent actions seem to point at least some interest in potentially running in 2020. In May, the vice president launched “Great America Committee,” his own political action committee — the first time a sitting vice-president has set up his own political arm.
“The President is as strong as he’s ever been in Iowa, and every potentially ambitious Republican knows that,” said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters, seeming to send a veiled warning after being asked about Trump facing a Republican challenger come election time.