Former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday revealed he and former President Donald Trump have spoken “many times” since they left office in January and “don’t see eye to eye” on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but he nonetheless lavished praise on his former boss.
Pence joked at the top of his speech to a New Hampshire GOP gathering that he and Trump are “a little different” but praised him for showing what Republicans can accomplish if they “don’t back down,” even comparing him to Ronald Reagan.
But Pence also touted how he and members of Congress reconvened after the Capitol attack to certify President Joe Biden’s victory, which Trump has used to blame Pence for their inability to remain in the White House.
Despite Pence garnering applause throughout the night for praising the Trump administration and attacking Biden and Democrats, there was “almost a palpable shock” and a “much quieter” vibe as Pence spoke about Jan. 6, according to Business Insider reporter Jake Lahut, who was in the room.
Pence crescendoed the Jan. 6 portion of his speech by saying he will “always be proud” of what he accomplished with Trump and accused Democrats of using Jan. 6 to “distract our attention” from the Biden administration.
Asked about conversations between Pence and Trump, Trump spokesperson Jason Miller told Forbes he’ll “leave it to the President and Vice President to discuss the frequency and content of their discussions.”
Trump said at a rally shortly before the Jan.6 attack he would be “very disappointed” in Pence if he stuck with his pledge to certify Biden’s victory. Some Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol chanted “hang mike Pence,” and Pence reportedly came within 100 feet of rioters at one point.
“I’m writing a book about our time in the White House,” Pence said, quipping, “Almost everybody’s excited about it.”
19%. That’s the share of the 2024 Republican presidential primary vote Pence garnered in a Trump-exclusionary poll by former Trump campaign pollster McLaughlin & Associates released last month. That’s just ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – who typically leads – at 18%, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. at 13% and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at 12%.
Pence’s appearance in New Hampshire signals he is considering a bid for president, at least if Trump doesn’t vie for the White House again. Trump has remained enormously popular among Republican voters since leaving office, and his support is currently seen by Republicans as critical to securing GOP nominations.