The effects of differences in climate base state are related to processes associated with the present‐day South Asian monsoon simulations in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 2 (E3SMv2) and the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2). Though tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean base state sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are over 1°C cooler in E3SMv2 compared to CESM2, and there is an overall reduction of Indian sector precipitation, the pattern of South Asian monsoon precipitation is similar in the two models. Monsoon‐ENSO teleconnections, dynamically linked by the large‐scale east‐west atmospheric circulation, are reduced in E3SMv2 compared to CESM2. In E3SMv2, this is related to cooler tropical SSTs and ENSO amplitude that is less than half that in CESM2. Comparison to a tropical Pacific pacemaker experiment shows, to a first order, that the base state SSTs and ENSO amplitude contribute roughly equally to lower amplitude monsoon‐ENSO teleconnections in E3SMv2.