Trump, Pence rally GOP behind activist agenda: The Note

Trump and Pence gave separate speeches in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

July 27, 2022, 6:02 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

If former Vice President Mike Pence is right that he and former President Donald Trump are on the same page on "issues," if not "focus" -- and he may be wrong, given Trump's elevation of the last election as an issue by itself -- the emerging GOP agenda is not a timid one.

Trump used one of the most anticipated policy speeches of his post-presidency to outline a federal takeover of major criminal justice functions, along with plans to establish vast new public health programs in tandem with homeless encampments on the outskirts of major cities. He spoke at the America First Policy Institute's conference in Washington, D.C., his first time back since leaving office.

"We'll have no trouble getting votes for that," Trump said of a Congress he assumed will be Republican come next year.

Pence, a few miles away at the Young America's Foundation student conference, focused on the aftermath of the conservative victory of the reversal of Roe v. Wade, saying it marks the "end of the beginning" of a state-by-state effort to ban legal abortions.

"Our freedom agenda calls for advancing pro-life protections in every state in the union -- every single one," Pence said during his own speech in Washington Tuesday.

Democrats have long been squaring up against the agenda offered by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., the head of Senate GOP election efforts, even though many of his most controversial bullet points have few takers among his colleagues.

But Tuesday also saw former House Speaker Newt Gingrich talking to possible future speaker Kevin McCarthy about a "commitment to America" that will include vast new energy investments and give parents, according to McCarthy, "the freedom to pick" the schools their kids will attend.

Unlike Trump's refusal to admit the realities of the last election, most of what's being discussed by national GOP figures is relatively uncontroversial in their circles. That's not to say any of it is small or inexpensive -- or a target to make the election more of a choice than a referendum.

The RUNDOWN with Alisa Wiersema

Renewed tensions are brewing at home and abroad over reports of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plans to potentially visit Taiwan in August after the trip was delayed from its original April date due to Pelosi coming down with COVID-19.

Ahead of those potential plans, Chinese officials signaled opposition to the visit and indicated it would cross a red line by violating their view of the "One China" principle.

"We are fully prepared for any eventuality. If the U.S. side insists on making the visit, the Chinese side will take firm and strong measures to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity. The U.S. must assume full responsibility for any serious consequence arising thereof," China's foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said Monday.

When asked about the reported trip during Tuesday's press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to get ahead of any announcement Pelosi would make about her potential travels. The response echoed comments from White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, who called Chinese criticism of the speaker's possible trip "unnecessary and uncalled for."

"There's no trip to speak to, and rhetoric of that kind only escalates tensions in a completely unnecessary manner. So, we find that unhelpful and certainly not in the least bit necessary, given the situation," he said.

The unfolding situation is happening at a delicate time for the White House, ABC News' Shannon Crawford reports. Efforts are currently underway to set up a call between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping after the pair last spoke in mid-March, and there are hopes it could lead to a face-to-face meeting in November at the G-20 summit.

PHOTO: Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives at a reception to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act in Washington, July 26, 2022.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives at a reception to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act in Washington, July 26, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images

The TIP with Hannah Demissie

It looks like former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' luck has run out in his bid to fill the state's open Senate seat.

New polling shows Greitens, once viewed as the leading candidate, losing his front-runner status in the Missouri Senate race.

Greitens maintained his lead in the race for months despite being in the middle of a child custody battle with his ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, who has accused him of domestic violence and abusing their children. Greitens also faced sexual assault allegations, blackmail claims and an ethics probe that forced him to resign as governor in 2018.

Many Republicans came out against Greitens following the abuse allegations from his ex-wife, including Sen. Josh Hawley, who called for him to drop out of the race in March.

And while Greitens has faltered, another candidate in the race has emerged, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, giving relief to many Republicans who feared that if Greitens were to secure the GOP nomination for Missouri's Senate seat, it would create the opportunity for Democrats to make a comeback in the state.

PHOTO: Eric Greitens addresses the media after filing to run in the Missouri Senate primary in Jefferson City, Mo., Feb. 22, 2022.
Eric Greitens addresses the media after filing to run in the Missouri Senate primary in Jefferson City, Mo., Feb. 22, 2022.
Columbia Daily Tribune via USA Today Network, FILE

NUMBER OF THE DAY, powered by FiveThirtyEight

37. That's the percentage of 18- to 29-year-olds who approve of President Joe Biden, according to approval polls from FiveThirtyEight's polling database. That's not too far from where Biden's approval rating sits overall -- just 38% of Americans approve of the job he's doing as president. But it's still notable how much young Americans have soured on Biden, as they were his best voting bloc in 2020. Read more from FiveThirtyEight's Geoffrey Skelley on how Biden lost young voters and what that could mean for the midterms.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. "Start Here" begins Wednesday morning with a look at the economy as the Federal Reserve prepares another rate increase. ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis leads us off. Then, ABC News' Gina Sunseri breaks down what's behind Russia's plans to quit the International Space Station. And, Terry Strada of 9/11 Families United explains why the group is protesting the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing on global food security at 10 a.m. ET.
  • The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing examining the practices and profits of gun manufacturers at 10 a.m. ET.
  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a briefing at 3 p.m. ET.

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The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back Thursday for the latest.

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