Pence: Trump and I ‘differ on focus,’ not issues

Last updated on July 26, 2022

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday insisted that his and former President Donald Trump’s visions for the future of the Republican Party were not substantively different and that the conservative movement was not “divided” despite Trump’s frequent condemnations of his former No. 2 for not doing more to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Pence’s remarks came during a question-and-answer session following a speech at the Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C., when he was asked about what many have identified as an intraparty fissure between him and Trump. Pence maintained that he “couldn’t be more proud” of the Trump administration’s record and assessed: “I don’t know that our movement is that divided.”

“I don’t know that the president and I differ on issues, but we may differ on focus,” Pence continued, referring to Trump. “I truly do believe that elections are about the future, and that it’s absolutely essential — at a time when so many Americans are hurting, so many families are struggling — that we don’t give way to the temptation to look back. But I think the time has come for us to offer a bold, positive agenda to bring America back. And I’ll continue to carry that message all across this nation.”

Pence spoke at the Young America’s Foundation’s signature event hours before Trump was scheduled to make his own speech in the nation’s capital, delivering the closing address at the America First Policy Institute’s America First Agenda Summit. Pence was previously scheduled to speak on Monday evening at a Heritage Foundation event that was ultimately postponed due to severe weather and flight delays.

Instead, Pence on Tuesday morning delivered the remarks he had intended to present at the Heritage Foundation, unveiling his “Freedom Agenda” in an address that featured several implicit criticisms of Trump and the former president’s fixation on the 2020 election.

“Some people may choose to focus on the past, but elections are about the future — and I believe conservatives must focus on the future to win back America,” Pence said.