Former Vice President Mike Pence said he plans to have a breakthrough moment during the first Republican presidential primary debate this week by just being himself, and he believes voters will see his record as what sets him apart from others.

Pence made the remarks during an interview with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl on “This Week” when asked about his strategy for the debate and how he intends to “break through” on stage.

“I’ve had a little bit of experience with nationally televised debates. But it’s – it’s different with a group on stage,” he responded. “And, look, I’m – I’m just going to be me. I mean I feel like I’ve been preparing for this first Republican presidential debate my whole life.”

Pence said that as he and his wife have traveled across the country, he believes he has name recognition but people don’t know much about him.

“Most people know me as that – that loyal vice president who fought alongside President Trump until the day came that my oath to the Constitution required me to stand apart,” Pence said. “One of my goals in that debate is for the American people, Republican primary voters, to get to know me in a little bit broader context and to demonstrate the kind of leadership that we bring to this, which I think is what the moment calls for.”

“Look, this country’s in a lot of trouble,” he continued. “Joe Biden has weakened America at home and abroad. I think there’s no time for on-the-job training. I want to project when I’m on that stage to the American people all of what came with the experience of serving as vice president, as a governor, and as a member of Congress. And my determination to bring that experience and that conservative record to bear on the challenges facing this country.”


Pence also addressed the possibility that former President Donald Trump would not attend the debate, saying that Trump often makes up his mind at the last moment. He added that he hoped Trump would show up.

“One thing I realized about him is it’s not over till it’s over. So I’m actually still hoping he shows up.”

Former VP Mike Pence tells @JonKarl that Donald Trump might still attend the GOP primary debate despite sources indicating he’s unlikely to attend.

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 20, 2023

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