Mike Pence had a pacemaker implanted Wednesday after experiencing ‘symptoms associated with a slow heart rate’ over the past two weeks.
‘The routine surgery was successful, and he is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days,’ the 61-year-old former vice president’s office released in a Thursday statement.
Pence disclosed his medical history upon being named the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2016, which included an asymptomatic left bundle branch block.
The procedure took place at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in the Washington, D.C. outskirt of Falls Church, Virginia – near where Pence and former second lady Karen Pence settled down upon leaving office in January.
‘I am grateful for the swift professionalism and care of the outstanding doctors, nurses and staff at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, including Dr. Brett Atwater and Dr. Behnam Tehrani,’ Pence said in the statement.
‘I also appreciate the consultation of my longtime Indiana physicians, Dr. Michael Busk and Dr. Charles Taliercio at Ascension St. Vincent. My family has been truly blessed by the work of these dedicated healthcare professionals,’ he added.
Former Vice President Mike Pence had a pacemaker implanted Wednesday after suffering two weeks of ‘slow heart rate’
The former vice president and first lady Karen Pence settled down in an outskirt of D.C. after leaving office (pictured here together on Inauguration Day, January 20). Pence’s pacemaker was put in at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Fairfax, Virginia
Speculation has swirled over the last few months that Pence could be laying the groundwork for a White House run in 2024.
The former vice president remained in the D.C. area after leaving office instead of going back to Indiana and has started steadily reentering public life.
GOP strategists say Pence’s actions since leaving office, like joining conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation as a visiting fellow and participating in speaking engagements, are signs he could seek public office again – even aiming for the presidency.
Also seen as signs of a run are Pence writing op/eds and launching a ‘video podcast’ with an advocacy group focusing on promoting Trump accomplishments.
Pence was ultimately snubbed by Donald Trump for refusing to back his election fraud claims.
At a GOP fundraiser in Mar-a-Lago over the weekend, Trump reportedly said Pence was a big disappointment – referencing his actions after the 2020 election.
But Trump’s doubts with his former No. 2 span back a few years.
He was asked during an interview with ‘Fox & Friends’ in June 2019 whether Pence would have his ‘automatic endorsement’ if he should ever run for president.
‘Well, it’s — I love Mike, we are running again, you’re talking about a long time, so you can’t put me in that position,’ Trump sidestepped at the time. ‘But I certainly would give it very strong consideration. He’s a very, very outstanding person.’
Pence disclosed after becoming the official vice presidential nominee with Trump that he had an asymptomatic left bundle branch block. Trump and Pence pictured at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 20, 2016
Trump was asked during a podcast interview in March to list those he considers the future leaders of the Republican Party.
He rattled off names like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and GOP Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas. Noticeably absent from the list, however, was Pence.
Trump aides warned against reading too much into the omission.
‘That was not an exclusive list,’ longtime Trump adviser Jason Miller said.
During the interview, however, Trump continued to deride Pence, falsely claiming he somehow had the authority to unilaterally overturn the results of the election – even though vice presidents do not have that power.
Pence built his reputation as being one of Trump’s most steadfast supporters, but he is now viewed negatively by the former president’s supporters for observing his constitutional duty in January to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power.
To prevail in a Republican presidential primary, Pence would have to reinforce his loyalty to Trump while defending his decisions during the final days of the administration when the president alleged widespread voter fraud, which Democrats impeached him for in claiming he incited the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.