The White House said Jon Lerner, an adviser to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, withdrew from the proposed dual role with the vice president.
He also worked with the Club for Growth, which aired ads critical of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
A White House official said chief of staff John Kelly was informed of Pence's plans to hire Lerner, but the vice president's office did not notify Kelly about Lerner's past work for the Club for Growth.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One to Florida on Monday that Lerner "didn't want to be a distraction and wanted to be able to focus on helping the administration moving forward."
Pence has been playing a larger foreign policy role in recent months.