'Only room for champions of freedom': Mike Pence says no place in GOP for Vladimir Putin's 'apologists'

'Only room for champions of freedom': Mike Pence says no place in GOP for Vladimir Putin's 'apologists'
Vice President Mike Pence listens as Capt. Stacey Blurton, 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse, explains the aeromedical capabilities of the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during a visit to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, May 20, 2017. During his visit, Pence commemorated Armed Forces Day, addressing a crowd of more than 200 Airmen and their families, thanking them for their service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

Former Vice President Mike Pence will further distance himself from ex-President Donald Trump during a speech to donors in New Orleans, Louisiana on Friday night.

Pence – a potential contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination – plans to indirectly chastise Trump and other conservatives over their affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a copy of the address that was obtained by Politico.

“Where would Russian tanks be today if NATO had not expanded the borders of freedom? There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin,” Pence is expected to say. “There is only room for champions of freedom.”

Pence does not plan on mentioning Trump by name, Politico noted.

Pence is also slated to expand the ideological chasm between himself and Trump through remarks about the integrity of American elections. The nation’s 48th veep recently decried Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, including Trump’s assertion that Pence had the constitutional authority to throw out the results.

Trump was “wrong… I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence told the Federalist Society in Lake Buena Vista, Florida last month.

“Elections are about the future,” Pence will say on Friday evening. “My fellow Republicans, we can only win if we are united around an optimistic vision for the future based on our highest values. We cannot win by fighting yesterday’s battles, or by relitigating the past.”

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