Pence says he and Trump ‘differ on focus,’ not issues

Pence says he and Trump ‘differ on focus,' not issues

Former Vice President Mike Pence admitted that he and ex-President Donald Trump “may differ” on their focus for the future of the Republican Party, but he would not go so far as to say the movement was “divided” as the two potential 2024 presidential candidates were scheduled to hold back-to-back events in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. 

Following a headlining speech at the 44th National Conservative Student Conference hosted by the Young America’s Foundation, Pence was pressed on the suspected schism between the former running mates. 

“President Trump and yourself are both speaking this week in DC. And there seems to be a divide between the two of you on your outlook on what the future of the conservative movement might be,” Andrew Rashard, a student at Gettysburg College, asked the former vice president.

“So do you think that this divide extends to the rest of the conservative movement like the general public, and what do you think we can do to alleviate it?

Mike Pence.
Former Vice President Mike Pence pointed out that it is important to not “give way to temptation to look back.”
Patrick Semansky/AP
Donald Trump.
Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly drawn attention to his false claims of massive voter fraud.
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

Pence quickly took the opportunity to express his pride over the record of the Trump administration and the policies it pushed forward to secure the border, rebuild the military, and appoint conservative judges across the country. 

“I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to serve as vice president,” Pence said, before considering his next words. 

“So I don’t know that our movement is that divided,” he said. “I don’t — I don’t know that the president and I differ on issues.

“But we may differ on focus,” Pence admitted. 

The former vice president highlighted the 2022 midterm elections, saying “elections are about the future.”

He appeared to accuse his former running mate of focusing too much on the past, saying, “It is absolutely essential at a time when so many Americans are hurting, so many families are struggling, that we don’t give way to temptation to look back.”

Committee hearing.
A video of then-Vice President Mike Pence calling for the military to be sent to the US Capitol is shown during a Jan. 6 panel hearing.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Since the 2020 presidential election, Trump has repeatedly drawn attention to his false claims of massive voter fraud, particularly as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot has held live hearings all summer. 

“I had an election Rigged and Stolen from me, and our Country. The USA is going to Hell. Am I supposed to be happy?” Trump wrote in a TruthSocial post on Friday following the committee’s most recent hearing Thursday night.

Trump is scheduled to give the keynote address during the America First Policy Institute’s two-day summit at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday. 

It is unclear if his remarks will focus on his repeated grievances over the last election cycle or if he will echo Pence’s push for the midterms. 

The summit, which is also featuring several Republican members of Congress, is set to highlight lowering energy and gas prices, bringing down inflation, combating crime and the border, as well as the “control” of children’s education.

Trump’s Tuesday speech marks the first time he has publicly returned to Washington, DC, since leaving office.

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