June 14th, 2009
06:20 PM ET
8 months ago

Pence: Obama should speak out in favor of Iranian reformers

WASHINGTON (CNN) – On the same day that Vice President Biden said he had doubts about the validity of the Iranian election results, Indianan Republican Rep. Mike Pence urged President Obama to speak out in favor of the forces of reform in the Middle Eastern country.

“First and foremost, we need to take a half step back from this administration’s olive branch-and-apology approach to enemies and countries that have been hostile to the United States of America and our allies,” Pence said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“I’m hoping, before the end of the day today, the President of the United States will speak a word of support for Mr. Moussavi and for the dissidents and the reformers within Iran,” said Pence, referring to the defeated challenger to incumbent Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

And moving on to another issue in the news, Pence criticized the desire of some Democrats to include a public insurance option in the health care reform bill Congress will soon begin work on.

“I keep hearing the word ‘competition’,” Pence told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “The government competes in the private sector the way an alligator competes with a duck,” said Pence.

“If you introduce a government-funded option into the private health insurance industry, millions and millions of Americans will lose their current health insurance because their employers will simply either choose to discontinue coverage or you’ll see health insurance companies out across the country say, ‘We can’t compete with Uncle Sam.’”

Pence also said that a government-funded health care plan would inevitably and ultimately involve rationing of treatments.

“What we ought to do,” said Pence, “is respect that doctor-patient relationship and look for ways that will strengthen our private health insurance system in this country.”

The Indiana Republican also slammed the Obama administration’s long-term fiscal outlook because of the unprecedented amounts of debt that the new administration is projecting.

“The answer to following an administration that doubled the national debt is not tripling the national debt in the next ten years,” Pence said Sunday.


Filed under: Health care • Iran • Mike Pence • Popular Posts • President Obama • State of the Union
soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. Gary

    Is Pence serious? POTUS determines the foreign policy of the United States, and no member of Congress should seek to tie his hands. What happened to the concept that politics stopped at the water's edge. Between this and the Republican Congressman (Mark Kirk, R-IL) telling China's leadership not to trust our budget numbers, I have to wonder if the Republicans deliberately want our President to fail. Is the Congressional GOP a 5th column?

    June 14, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  2. MJHS1967

    At least President Obama can speak intelligently. Ole "W" said a lot, but not many could understand what the Devil was saying.

    GOP, just SHUT-UP, you had "8" years to talk, but you were too busy telling Major League Baseball how to run their organization or trying to rule the life of Terri Shaivo in Florida.

    Rove – oveR :(

    June 14, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  3. Rob from MO

    The president is appropriately taking a wait and see attitude regarding the Iranian elections rather than going off half-cocked with uninformed, inflammatory rhetoric like his predecessor would do. The republicans are so frustrated because we finally have a thoughtful president who responds with intelligence rather than emotions.

    As a physician, I strongly believe that a public insurance option is necessary. Why is the private sector so afraid of fair competition?

    June 14, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  4. Aaron

    "The government competes in the private sector the way an alligator competes with a duck,"...."We can't compete with Uncle Sam."

    So I suppose we should close all public high schools, state colleges, the Unites States Postal Service, all public transportation, all libraries, etc. by this logic. Since each one of these examples has to compete with a number of private companies. I'm sure FED-EX and UPS would love to see USPS closed down, but you would have to be an idiot to think the consumer would be better off.

    The idea behind the superiority of market based economies is that competition makes us all better off...even if that competition sometimes comes from the public sector.

    June 14, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. J.C.

    I don't think the relationship between doctors and patients is a problem in Canada, France or Germany. It is private insurance companies' greed that spoils that relationship. If we don't want these companies to be the sitting duck, the patients, us are the sitting duck in the mouth of private insurance companies. This alligator power had emboldened the private insurance companies to bet on investments they should not have been involved in and we, the patients/taxpayers had to bail them out. Is this logical in any way? I am neither Rep nor Dem, but this just doesn't make any common sense.

    June 14, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    "Pence: Obama should speak out in favor of Iranian reformers."

    No, Obama should mind his own business. Internal Iranian politics are not the proper concern of the US. Not to mention the minor detail that, so thoroughly hated is the US in the region, an endorsement by Obama of one Iranian faction over another will likely backfire against that faction.

    June 14, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Ancient Texan

    The Left posting here seem to think freedom of speech is the sole property of the Liberals. Since all we heard for eight years, from the Democrats was NEGATIVE; Bush bashing. Seems turn about is fair. Also Obama doesn't have the right to ditate to Israel what to do about housing being built in Gaza. It is none of our business.

    June 14, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  8. Mike in Kansas

    We?

    The United States of America??

    We that just had to endure the worst eight years of leadership in our history from one that stole the election???

    We that sat back and watched the thiefs brother aided by the states attorney general hand him the presidency????

    We that sat back and watched the supreme court ordain his presidency (all small caps intended)?????

    I think the term Glass House applies here guys.

    We don't have to like what has happened in Iran but when it comes down to it. What should or could we do?

    June 14, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    @JDB: "Why doesn't mr. pence believe we're all entitled to the same health care plan he receives? A little healthy competition is good for free markets ."

    So vast are the powers of the US government that it essentially ruins competition in any market it enters–it's not "healthy competition" when one of the players has effectively infinite resources and an ability to make coercive laws.

    June 14, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. Libertarian

    Yes...let's come out with a STRONG statement condemning this election! Let's jump to conclusions again that are not based on any fact whatsoever.

    Kudos, Mr. President for gathering the facts before saying anything! That didn't happen the last 8 years. Bush used every sound-bite opportunity to grand stand and beat his chest. Just too bad he had his facts all wrong and now we've lost over 6,000 great soldiers. Sleep well Cheney...sleep well.

    June 14, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  11. Cnn please post my thoughts! 1 love!

    Pence can afford to be a member of the party of no, since he has great health care coverage, forget about Iran, what has pence done for Americans lately? urge the President to pass affordable health care for all Americans? Nope! Start name calling between the US and iran? Yes! Pence is a loser Obama has better things to worry about right now. The Iranians will kick ahmedinejad out when they can! That is not our problem! The GOP is in hot wATER why? Cuz Americans know u care nothing for them but put Party before country!

    June 14, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. Nini

    Some of you are so out of touch with reality is sad.

    The elections in Iran have been rigged for the past 30 years.

    The only difference is that the People of Iran are building up the confidence to stand up to the Dictator regime. The same Dictators that President Obama is willing to sit with and negotiated with no precondition!!

    The choice should be very simple the United State is either going to stands with the Terrorist supporting regime of Iran or the People of Iran.

    June 14, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. would it make a difference?

    I'm not sure it would, they need to stand on their own feet and any support from the U.S. could be misconstrued, think of other examples

    June 14, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  14. Tom in CA

    ...ah-ahh-ahhh...once again, the Grand Obstructionism Party folks speak drivel!

    June 14, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. TCM

    Very typical, CNN...posting only liberal comments....you're trying hard to make it seem as though the whole country supports OBama, when now, for most issues, it's <40% and sliding.....

    June 14, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. Nini

    To those who keep comparing Iran’s election to US elections you are either stupid or Crazy.

    How can anyone with an ounce of brain compare United State of America to a Dictatorship like the government of Iran?

    June 14, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  17. marilyn

    Cheneymychiney
    if you recall,Bush didn't have his cabinet in order ,because the Dems prolonged approving them.

    Your President submitted {bowed} to a Arab King. That's why he can't say anything about their elections .

    If this country is so bad! Why did he want to be the President ?
    When it comes to speaking about this country on foreign land,
    say something nice,or don't say anything at all. If he's not a proud American then resign. Remember people are running to our borders to live,work,and have freedom of speech. Were not running to theirs.

    If you want health care than pay for it.I don't remember anything in the Bill of Rights granting health care to all.no one has given me,or my husband anything. We have work hard 24 years in are marriage to raise are children. We are paying for there college by saving and sacrificing,therefore no one can tell us what to do.That's what my parents taught me and what freedom has to offer.

    Obama isn't God.He's just your savior,you freeloader.

    June 14, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. Ted Tartaglia

    Pence is just another Republican loser trying to get his name in print.

    June 14, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. Sylvia

    Pence is not president so he should not be deciding what the President of the U.S . should do about the Iranian conflict. He only wants President Obama to jeopardize any chance for peace by speaking out on this Iranian unrest. GOP members are a bunch of jerks and that includes John King.

    June 14, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. Chenna Benna

    Why...so you can criticize him for supporting the reformer? No matter what Obama does the GOP will be against it. That apparently is their strategy for re-election. RNC= Rush Newt Cheneny

    June 14, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. Ahmadinejad W. Bush

    Ahmadinejad seems to be the Iranian version of George W. Bush.

    Heck, he even looks like him. If you agree, say whoop!

    June 14, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. Tom in Rochester, NY

    A word of support from us would be as useful to the Iran situation as if Ahmadinejad had endorsed one of our candidates in our Presidential election. Best to let Iran work this out – if the desire to change is as strong as Mr. Moussavi claims they are, then change will occur without our assistance or endorsement.

    It's time for us to think a bit deeper, put ourselves into the shoes of the Iranian people, and really think what would make me change. Fear, intimidation, and aggression is not the answer.

    June 14, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. Annie

    Champly – good luck with that. It takes a couple of years of getting through all the red tape to see if you even qualify, as I saw a family friend go through, with an actual disability. Freeloading off the government isn't as easy as one might believe. But the myth lives on.

    June 14, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. CJ

    I do agree with him about Iran. Obama and Hillary both need to say something about it. That's all I agree with, though.

    June 14, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. Ernestine

    @Champly June 14th, 2009 5:42 pm ET

    Mr. Obama is a street wise Chicago thug. He will keep his mouth shut in most instances. But the proof is in the proverbial pudding. His intentional acts of destroying the economy, our health care system, our manufacturing base, and the state of Israel if evidence enough. He doesn't have to say anything, he just does it with the help of the other Marxist he has surrounded himself with at the core of the administration.

    June 14, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
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