A former advisor to Mike Pence said he has long "desired" to make a run for the Oval Office.
Olivia Troye's comments to CNN come as Pence made his first visit to Capitol Hill since 2021.
The visit further stoked further speculation about a possible Pence 2024 presidential run.
Mike Pence has presidential aspirations, one of his former advisors said Tuesday as the former vice president stoked further speculation about a 2024 bid during a visit to Capitol Hill this week.
Olivia Troye, who worked for Pence during his four years in the White House, told CNN that her former boss has long aimed to hold the nation's most powerful position.
"It is a known thing in Pence's orbit and those of us who worked for Mike Pence," she told the outlet. "I think he desired to make a run for the Oval Office. I think that's partially why he joined the Trump administration on his ticket."
Troye's comments come as Pence made his triumphant return to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, his first visit since leaving office in January 2021. The former vice president met with the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative congressional caucus. Members of the group praised Pence for upholding his constitutional duty on January 6, 2021 and certifying President Joe Biden's win over former President Donald Trump.
Pence's visit adds further fuel to the speculative fire over whether or not he'll make a 2024 presidential bid.
The conservative lawmakers on Tuesday encouraged Pence to make a run for president, according to multiple news reports. Pence, himself, however, avoided the subject, saying instead that he is focused on helping Republicans succeed in this year's upcoming midterms.
Troye said the former vice president could be weighing some of the likely challenges to a campaign.
"I know he has aspirations to do so, and I think we'll have to see how this plays out for him given where the Republican base is right now and how much of a stronghold Trump has on the party," she told CNN.
She said Pence on Tuesday aimed to focus on more traditional Republican issues, such as the national debt and foreign affairs, as opposed to frequent Trump talking points like the 2020 election.
"I think you'll see him continue to tout some of the policies he supported that he felt were a success," Troye said of Pence. "I think you'll see him run on that while also trying to carefully balance, obviously, this conflict he has ongoing with the former president."
Since the insurrection, Pence has distanced himself from Trump, refusing visits to the former President's Mar-a-Lago resort and maintaining no communication for more than a year. The Congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack presented testimony earlier this month that Trump said "Mike deserves it" when rioters inside the Capitol that day chanted "hang Mike Pence."
Trump also continues to tease a 2024 run, albeit, more overtly than his former running mate.
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