Former Vice President Mike Pence is expected to criticize President Joe Biden in a speech Monday afternoon after agreeing to unfreeze $6 billion of Iranian funds in exchange for the release of five Americans who had been wrongfully imprisoned in Iran, according to a senior Pence campaign official.
In the speech the official said Pence will argue that China may look to exploit the US after seeing the Biden administration’s actions towards adversaries so far.
The official pointed to the Iranian prisoner release agreement as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as examples of a “posture of weakness.”
The senior official also said Pence will celebrate the return of the American hostages to the US but will express concern over how China will interpret the agreement with Iran.
“The posture and this administration’s presenting across the globe is certainly one of appeasement and weakness that the communist Chinese recognize and will act upon,” the senior Pence campaign official said.
More about the speech: Pence’s planned speech on Monday marks the second major policy speech the former vice president will make this month, after an address on the growing threat of populism in New Hampshire in which he criticized Trump and other like-minded Republicans for rejecting pro-democracy values.
The official said the speeches reflect a desire by Pence to focus on policy, while acknowledging that Republican primary voters may not be excited by policy-focused speeches.
“In many cases today, a lot of primary voters are more focused on personality than policy, but I think that’s a contrast we want to have,” the official said. “We want to lay out what our vision, what Mike’s vision is for the United States and where he would take it as president.”
“If other campaigns don’t want to lay out their policy vision, then, you know, that’s their call,” the official added.