In his second public address since leaving office, former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday put a little space between himself and his ex-boss, saying he and former President Donald Trump might never “see eye to eye” on the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Pence called it a “dark day in the history of the United States” and thanked the U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement for quelling the violence. He didn’t mention the insurrection in his first post-vice-presidency speech, in South Carolina in April.
“And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States,” Pence said on Thursday at the Hillsborough County Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Awards Dinner in Manchester, N.H., referring to the counting of Electoral College votes. “You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day, but I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.”
He then accused Democrats of using the Capitol riot to divide the country and distract Americans from the Biden administration’s agenda.
“We must move forward,” Pence said.
Pence’s relationship with Trump has been rocky since the insurrection, after the then-vice president went against Trump’s public demands that he help overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Pence’s mention of Jan. 6 wasn’t the only time the former vice president hinted at his differences with Trump on Thursday.
“Some people think we’re a little different,” Pence said, drawing laughs from the crowd. “But I think what President Trump showed us was what Republicans can accomplish when our leaders stand firm on conservative principles and don’t back down.”
After touting the Trump administration’s moves on key talking points like immigration, trade, the economy and election integrity, Pence bashed President Joe Biden for what he called “campaigning as a moderate” and then governing as the “most liberal president since FDR.”
Since leaving office, Pence has worked with the Heritage Foundation and Young America’s Foundation. He has now made appearances in two key presidential swing states as he weighs a 2024 bid for the White House.