Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared to continue beating a path to the 2024 campaign trail on Monday during a speech in Chicago, Illinois. The speech, given at the University Club of Chicago, took place ahead of the state’s primary elections, which are scheduled for June 28. 

Pence made the appearance one day after many Republican stars — including former President Donald Trump — wrapped up the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual Road to Majority conference, which took place over the weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. Trump will also be making a separate trip to Illinois ahead of the state’s primaries. 

Pence’s speech focused on America’s economic woes.

“The truth is America is facing a growing economic crisis that’s unlike any other in our country’s 244-year history. Inflation is rampant, gas and food prices are rising, real wages are falling, the stock market is plummeting,” he said. “Grocery stores, from time to time, are empty. And that confidence and pride that were once synonymous with the American people in recent years has been replaced with fear and a national anxiety.”

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The former vice president laid blame squarely at the feet of the Biden administration for inflation, record-setting rent prices and the high cost of food and gas.

“This economic wound that we’re experiencing is entirely self-inflicted unlike the Great Depression of the 1930s, the stagflation of the 1970s or even the Great Recession of 2008. The economic woes now upon us have been caused almost single-handedly by one person: the 46th president of the United States of America, Joe Biden.”

In addition to excoriating Biden’s leadership, Pence lauded the policies of the “Trump-Pence administration” that, he claimed, “drove America to unprecedented prosperity.” 

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He went on to accuse the Biden administration of squandering “American prosperity faster than any other administration in the history of our country.” 

Journalists and political analysts have noted Pence’s visits to important states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, as an indication that he will seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024. Pence has also moved to align himself with Republicans running in primaries for the 2022 midterm elections against other Republicans who are being backed by Trump — an approach that can be considered a political proxy war or as an indirect way of weighing his 2024 presidential prospects. 

Though Pence hasn’t announced an intention to run in 2024, speaking with The New York Times, he didn’t rule it out.

“We’ll go where we’re called,” said Pence, who said that he and his wife would let prayer guide their decision. 

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