Two-time running mates former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, who may soon be opponents for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, are speaking at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis on Friday.
The NRA convention is not just a gathering for gun enthusiasts; it also attracts Republican presidential hopefuls who want to showcase their support for Second Amendment rights. The NRA endorsed Trump during its 2016 annual convention.
Pence hasn’t yet announced whether he will seek the presidency, but he has been visiting early-voting primary states, while Trump, the first major candidate in the race, and his allies insist the voters are already lined up to support him. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who recently declared he’s running for president, is making an appearance at the convention. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not appearing in person at the convention, but the event will feature a video address from him.
Trump has bashed his former vice president ever since Pence affirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021, and has even tried to shift the blame for the riot to Pence, saying last month, “in many ways, you can blame him,” meaning Pence, for what transpired that day.
Earlier this month, Pence decided not to appeal a ruling requiring him to testify before a grand jury as part of a special counsel investigation into the assault on the Capitol, but Trump’s legal team is still trying to keep Pence from testifying.
Last year, Trump mocked Republicans who decided not to attend the convention when it was held in Texas just days after the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two adults dead. Trump said, “unlike some others, I didn’t disappoint you by not showing up today,” before reading the names of the children who died that day.
This year’s convention takes place after recent mass shootings at a private religious school in Nashville and a bank in Louisville, Kentucky.