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Ex-Vice President Pence to Discuss National Security and Global Affairs at Forum Hosted by AP and Georgetown University

by Chloe Baker
8 comments
Mike Pence Georgetown University forum

Former Vice President and Republican Party contender Mike Pence is scheduled to address questions concerning national security and international relations on Tuesday afternoon at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

This event marks the inaugural session in a sequence of dialogues featuring 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls. The discussions are jointly organized by media outlet The Big Big News and Georgetown’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.

Within the competitive Republican primary, Pence has distinguished himself as an advocate for an assertive U.S. role in global politics, emphasizing the philosophy of “peace through American leadership.” He has openly criticized the rising populist sentiment within his party, holding figures such as ex-President Donald Trump responsible for neglecting commitments to U.S. allies.

The divergence in views is especially noticeable with regard to Ukraine. Pence has urged the Biden administration to escalate military support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, while also reproaching party members who question the U.S.’s continuing role in the matter.

Last weekend saw Congress preventing a partial government shutdown via a compromise that did not include supplementary assistance for Ukraine. Statements from the White House and the Department of Defense indicate that aid to Kyiv could be at risk without additional financial backing, a view not shared by a segment of Republicans who have withheld support for extra funding for Ukraine.

Pence has contended that both Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fail to comprehend the wider consequences of their proposals to curtail military aid, labeling such stances as tantamount to being “apologists for Putin.” He has also countered entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy’s argument that the U.S. should terminate its backing for Ukraine to forge an alliance with Russia against China.

In a previously unannounced visit to Ukraine this past June, Pence surveyed the areas affected by conflict and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Although Pence’s stance was once a mainstream Republican viewpoint, it has increasingly found less resonance among Republican voters growing more skeptical of supporting Ukraine. Recent polling data from Pew Research Center reveals that 44% of Republicans believe the U.S. is overcommitting aid to Ukraine, a notable rise from 9% after Russia’s initial invasion in 2022.

A February survey by The Big Big News-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research disclosed that merely 26% of Americans believe the U.S. should play a significant role in the Ukrainian conflict, a decline from 40% in March 2022. For Republicans, that percentage fell even further to just 17%.

On the issue of China, Pence has characterized it as the most significant strategic and economic menace to the U.S. in this century. He advocates for enhanced defense measures for Taiwan and restrictions on Chinese acquisitions of American agricultural land, alongside a shift in high-tech manufacturing away from China.

From a broader defense perspective, Pence has advocated for an increment of at least $1.2 trillion in military expenditure, with particular emphasis on naval construction. As a committed social conservative, he has also pledged to terminate what he refers to as “woke military programs” within the Department of Defense.

Ahead of the Iowa caucuses, which are just three months away, Pence has had difficulty gaining traction in a GOP primary overshadowed by his former superior. His polling numbers remain in the single digits, reflected in his marginalized positioning during the most recent Republican debate.

The forum on Tuesday will feature an interactive Q&A segment with students both present at Georgetown and at other campuses located in early primary states, including Clemson University in South Carolina, Iowa State University, and the University of New Hampshire.

A live stream of the event will be accessible on apnews.com and via Georgetown University’s politics Twitter handle, @GUPolitics.


Reporting was contributed by Colvin in New York, with additional input from Big Big News correspondent Linley Sanders in Washington, D.C.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mike Pence Georgetown University forum

What is the main purpose of Mike Pence’s appearance at Georgetown University?

The main purpose is for Mike Pence to address questions concerning national security and international relations. This is part of a series of dialogues featuring 2024 GOP presidential candidates, co-hosted by media outlet The Big Big News and Georgetown’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.

Who are the co-hosts of this event at Georgetown University?

The event is co-hosted by The Big Big News and Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.

What is Mike Pence’s stance on Ukraine?

Mike Pence has urged the Biden administration to escalate military support for Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia. He has also criticized those within his party who question the U.S.’s continuing involvement in Ukraine.

What does the event signify for Pence in the context of the 2024 GOP Primary?

The event provides an opportunity for Pence to differentiate himself in a crowded GOP primary field. He has taken a hawkish stance on issues of national security and foreign policy, particularly regarding Ukraine and China.

How has public opinion shifted concerning U.S. involvement in Ukraine?

According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in June, 44% of Republicans now believe the U.S. is providing too much aid to Ukraine. This is a notable increase from 9% after Russia’s initial invasion in 2022.

What is Pence’s position on China?

Pence has characterized China as the most significant strategic and economic threat to the U.S. in the 21st Century. He advocates for enhanced defense measures for Taiwan and restrictions on Chinese acquisitions of American agricultural land.

How can one watch the event?

A livestream of the event will be accessible on apnews.com and via Georgetown University’s politics Twitter handle, @GUPolitics.

What is the significance of the student Q&A session?

The forum will feature an interactive Q&A segment with students both present at Georgetown and at other campuses located in early primary states, giving students an opportunity to engage directly with a presidential hopeful.

More about Mike Pence Georgetown University forum

  • Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service
  • The Big Big News Official Website
  • Mike Pence’s Official Twitter Account
  • Pew Research Center Poll on U.S. Aid to Ukraine
  • Department of Defense Statements on Ukraine Aid
  • AP News Official Website
  • Latest Polls on 2024 GOP Presidential Candidates

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8 comments

SteveK October 3, 2023 - 7:15 pm

Who else is gonna be in this series at Georgetown? Would be good to compare stances between all the GOP candidates.

Reply
John D. October 4, 2023 - 3:47 am

Wow, Pence is really trying to set himself apart from Trump, especially on Ukraine. interesting to see how GOP voters will respond.

Reply
Mike47 October 4, 2023 - 5:03 am

So pence is hawkish on China too? Seems like he wants to increase military spendin across the board. Wonder how that’ll play out budget wise.

Reply
Jess_S October 4, 2023 - 8:12 am

Student Q&A’s are the best. Always some tough questions that catch politicians off guard. Looking forward to that!

Reply
SamanthaR October 4, 2023 - 8:52 am

Kind of surprised he’s polling in single digits. I thought his strong stances on national security would get more traction. Guess not.

Reply
Tina_q October 4, 2023 - 12:31 pm

Live stream huh, gotta check it out. Could be interesting to hear what he’s gotta say without the media filter.

Reply
GaryO October 4, 2023 - 2:16 pm

Didn’t realize public opinion has shifted so much on Ukraine. 44% of Republicans think too much aid is going there? Thats a big jump from last year.

Reply
ElleM October 4, 2023 - 3:17 pm

Pence is all over the map. One minute he’s in Ukraine, next he’s giving speeches about China. Trying really hard to be a foreign policy guy, I guess.

Reply

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