But he couldn’t escape the direct contrast with Mr. Trump. When Mr. Pence finished his speech, the first question from the audience of young conservatives at a Young America’s Foundation conference was about Mr. Trump “and the divide between the two of you.”
“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,” Mr. Pence said.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence had been in somewhat regular contact after leaving office, speaking several times by phone in conversations that avoided discussion of the Capitol riot, according to their advisers. In an interview last year, Mr. Trump said that he had never told Mr. Pence he was sorry for not acting quicker to stop the attack — and that Mr. Pence had never asked for an apology.
But a rivalry has flared up behind the scenes.
On Monday, Mr. Pence announced that his book about his time in the administration, “So Help Me God,” would be published on Nov. 15. The book has been a source of tension with Mr. Trump, who, when he learned in early 2021 that Mr. Pence had a book deal, was still musing about obtaining one of his own.
But in most parts of the publishing industry, Mr. Trump was broadly seen as a risk. The former president seemed frustrated that Mr. Pence had gotten a deal, and within days of learning about it, he attacked the former vice president while speaking to a group of Republican donors at a Republican National Committee event at Mar-a-Lago, seizing on Mr. Pence’s refusal to do what Mr. Trump wanted on Jan. 6, 2021.
The two men’s paths have also differed this year along the midterm campaign trail. They have backed opposing candidates in several primary races, including the Republican governor’s contest in Arizona, which will be decided next week, and the party’s primary for governor in Georgia, where Mr. Pence’s pick, Gov. Brian Kemp, easily defeated his Trump-backed challenger, David Perdue.