Pence Moves to Claim Culture War Lane in 2024 Race 

Former Vice President Mike Pence is positioning himself to be the Republican candidate tough on culture war issues. 

Pence is trying to make it clear that no other 2024 Republican presidential candidate will outflank him on the gender, sexuality, and education controversies that rile up the right. He’s staking a claim as an original culture warrior. 

It comes as an effort to claim the territory before other candidates do, and offer himself as the alternative to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. 

During appearances in Minnesota and Iowa, Pence denounced schoolhouse gender-affirming policies and lessons on race.

Officially, Pence came to Minnesota on Wednesday to coincide with oral arguments over an Iowa school gender identity policy that he personally opposes. The case surrounds a gender support policy at an Iowa public school district that does not require parental consent or knowledge.

Pence is not a party to the case, but his remarks before a crowd of parents, school board members, state lawmakers, and children, appeared to make a case on what could be a key issue and campaign theme.

Pence also took aim at other hot-button education issues like school curricula, including what’s known as critical race theory, which posits that race is a social concept rooted in white supremacy, and permeates all aspects of society.

“The truth is, it wasn’t our choice to start the left’s culture war. But now we have no choice but to win it for the sake of our children and grandchildren,” Pence said. “We will win this fight.”

The lawsuit showcases Pence’s culture-driven education agenda and dovetails with his decades-long focus on everything from railing about adultery to criticizing Disney’s “Mulan” in the 1990s. 

Most importantly for Pence, the case is tied to a state in the American heartland still crucial to the Republican presidential nominating calendar.

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