Allegations of a split between Donald Trump and Mike Pence were dismissed after the former vice president decided not to attend a Tory conference this week.
The Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida will mark Trump’s first major public appearance since he stepped down and several of his allies are among the scheduled speakers.
But Pence, who remains popular with Republican voters, will not be one of them.
Responding to a report suggesting it was because Trump didn’t want Pence at the event, Jason Miller, an adviser to the former president, said that was “patently false.” He added that the two had “a big call last week”.
Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Union, which leads the conference, posted on Twitter that he spoke with Pence on Monday, who recalled Trump’s “warm stories” and said the duo were stayed in touch on the phone. “
Schlapp added that the former vice president was “kind for his support” of the event during a phone call, but said “weeks ago he was unable to do so.”
Trump and Pence clashed in January, with the then president pushing his No.2 to reject Electoral College votes that confirmed his defeat. Pence refused. On January 6, Trump slammed his vice president in tweets posted minutes after learning that Pence was being whisked out of the Senate chamber by security as violence erupted on the U.S. Capitol.
The two reportedly had a “good conversation” when they met a few days later, both condemning the rioters.
Pence then thanked Trump for giving him the opportunity to become vice president in a farewell speech on Jan.20.
As Trump’s camp works to play down discussions of a split, polls have shown the former vice president remains in good standing among GOP voters.
In a poll of Republicans who would back their candidacy for 2024, Pence has consistently been the second choice behind Trump.
A Morning Consult / Politico survey conducted February 14-15 once again found Pence as the second favorite.
Republicans and Independents were asked, “If the 2024 Republican primary was held today, who would you vote for?” More than half, 53%, Trump said. It was way ahead of the pack, with Pence the only other contender to hit double the numbers at 12 percent.
Respondents were also asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Pence. Overall, the figures were 38% favorable and 51% unfavorable. But among Republicans, 72% had a favorable opinion of the former vice president.
Eighty percent of Republicans said they have a favorable opinion of Trump. The former president’s popularity among the general voters, however, was lower than that of Pence: 34% of those polled had a favorable opinion of Trump and 63% unfavorable.
The survey was conducted among 1,984 registered voters and the results have a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
Trump has spoken of being open to a run for 2024, but said it was too early to make firm comments.
“I won’t say it yet, but we have tremendous support,” he told Newsmax. “I watch the poll numbers explode.”
Newsweek has contacted the offices of former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence for further comment.
Donald Trump speaks as Mike Pence watches the White House on November 24, 2020. A Trump adviser has played down suggestions of a rift between the two. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
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