Dueling campaigns: Pence and Ducey back Taylor Robson as Trump stumps for Lake

Gov. Doug Ducey, Karrin Taylor Robson and former Vice President Mike Pence at a campaign event for Robson on July 22, 2022, at TYR Tactical in Peoria. /Photo via @DougDucey /Twitter

By Ronald J. Hansen and Tara Kavaler | Arizona Republic

Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke approvingly of the Trump administration and gave no indication of the massive political rupture with his former boss and running mate during a campaign appearance Friday in Peoria.

Pence endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson and cast her opponent, Kari Lake, as a GOP convert when it suited her. Gov. Doug Ducey did the same earlier at the same gathering.

It was the first of a series of well-timed Republican campaign events across Arizona highlighting the stylistic and political differences between Pence and former President Donald Trump.

Later in the day, Pence and Ducey received a briefing on the border in Tucson. Trump was scheduled to hold a rally Friday night in Prescott Valley for Lake and other Republican candidates he has endorsed, including Blake Masters for U.S. Senate.

RELATED: Robson campaign denies she flew from Scottsdale to Glendale to campaign with Mike Pence Arizona Mirror

Pence’s Arizona visit came a day after the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol showed Trump did nothing as a mob said it wanted to hang Pence because he refused to set aside certified election results making Democrat Joe Biden the president. Witnesses have told the committee that Trump empathized with the mob.

Pence didn’t comment about Trump or the committee, nor did he drop any hints about his own ambitions.

In his characteristic low-key fashion, Pence argued during his 21-minute remarks to a group of about 350 people that Taylor Robson, a GOP fundraiser for years, has stayed a reliable resource for Republicans for decades, while Lake backed Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in recent years.

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