June 14th, 2009
06:20 PM ET
6 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. Drew

    Yeah, Obama should do this or that, but when or if he does he'll STILL be criticized...

    Let's be clear, it's UNWISE for this administration, or ANY American administration, to take sides in foreign elections... Like the outcome or not, we'll be forced to deal with whoever WINS – not whoever we wish had won...

    June 14, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. Nate

    Wow CNN, I can't believe you allowed this to be shown on your website. This isn't Order of the Democrats propaganda stuff here.

    June 14, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I'm tired of Republican political hacks from Indiana putting in their two cents because they think they might have a chance in 2012. Please.

    June 14, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. Moe NY

    I disagree Mr. Pence, the Iranian elections are none of America's business. whereas health care FOR ALL AMERICANS, is America's business, and I suggest all of the 46 – 50 million Americans speak out loud and clear on the subject.

    June 14, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Gene

    The USA should get out of being the negotiators for all foreign countries. Stop being the worlds police force, bring home all foreign troops and concentrate on our country only. Let the UN and NATO do it all.We are always condemd for trying to help , and there is no thanks. We can't even solve our own problems. Too long trying to run the world

    June 14, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. Marv

    The reps. should just shut their mouths if they have nothing positive to say all they do is complain. They had 10 years to do something about various problems and did nothing. What do they want we should bomb every body then what. go to war with every one . Most of their kids will not go to war. Maybe we can send cowards like Limbaugh, hannity, Cheney beck and orielly to Afganistan.

    June 14, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. tony

    this man thinks he the next man running the gop watch out newt hes comeing for your top dog of the gop!!!

    June 14, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. Gilbert Davila

    I agree with Pence that Obama needs to speak out more, but for him to knock Obama's speech in Cairo while commenting on the turmoil in Iran is ridiculous. Pence paints a false, misleading, and irresponsible link, and in turn, betrays his Americans with his irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric. Obama's speech was not aimed at extremists like Ahmadinejad and right-wingers like Pence, but at moderate Muslims like the folks protesting in the streets of Iran today. Of course neo-cons like Romney, Pearle and Gaffney are somehow blaming Ahmadinejad's stolen election win on Obama. Next thing you know they will be blaming the recent right wing shootings on Obama...oops some already have.

    June 14, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. PM

    Pence. Get a life! There is nothing the President can say about Irans elections.

    June 14, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. kevin

    Considering that the US is no stranger to stolen election it seems like we have lost our ability to "speak up" about Iran's voting irregularities.

    June 14, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. ib

    Wimp Obama is not going to speak out except to make an apology for what America has done in the past. He's to busy kissing butt instead of worrying about protecting this country. I hope all you liberals are happy with your "change".

    June 14, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. JayG

    Obama will probably speak out for Ahmadinejad, In fact he probably got ACORN to go "community organize" for him.

    June 14, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. PK California

    Who is he to tell Obama what to do, say, or act on???????????? Slam, slam, slam! That's all the Republicans can do! How about backing their president once in a while? Iran, health care, the economy, not one ounce of support!!!! The Republicans are a DO NOTHING CROWD! Find fault.......100%!!!

    June 14, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. marcus

    i just don't get the laughable hypocrisy of anyone in the US having anything to say about fraudulent elections.. we live in the nation that gave us the obvious fiasco of george bush winning florida in 2000. we live in a nation that has rod blagojevich selling senate seats.. and we're going to talk about voting irregularities ?? we live in a nation that chastised those who protested bush going into iraq.. and now we know, the entire war was a contrived LIE... the US is in NO position to have anything to say about how other countries are run..

    June 14, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Joe

    Doing what Pence says is EXACTLY what Ahmadinejad wants us to do. Seriously–he would like nothing better than to turn this into an election about international issues (rather than the two biggest issues in Iran–availability of housing and unemployment rates). It is critical that Moussavi not be seen as a tool or stooge of the US. Anything that smacks of US pressure or desire to see a particular person elected (or another defeated) plays to Ahmadinejad's favor (and against Moussavi). While Iranians are probably the middle eastern people (outside of Israel) that are the most pro-US, they still resent our efforts in the past at controlling who their leaders are. And Ahmadinejad has always tried to use US efforts to isolate Iran as a way to defuse the opposition and demand the true Iranian patriots rally around him.

    Pence should shut his yap. His comments will play well back home in district but they're bad politics and they'd be providing aid and support to Ahmadinejad if we do as he says.

    June 14, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Stike 1

    What would Pence have the Prez do-ask the iran prez to resign much as some in the No congress should do. Do we push statements on other countries phony elections. As for as health insurance why not give same health coverage as Congress with payments based on income. Daresay most low income folks worked/work a helluva lot harder than most white-tie-rs, judging by their jowls and girth as they make their too frequent tv appearances. Maybe Pres Obama saw how easy the Repubs came up with money for 8 years thought he would give it a shot too. Just another good ole boy

    June 14, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Karl

    The repugs continue to bait President Obama to agitate foreign affairs unnecessarily. Hopefully it does not work. Why? Innocent people would end up murdered. The repugs would not care, but would welcome it. That's evident by their edging and faintly supporting the death of Americans in recent violence episodes.

    June 14, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. joe

    Violence is the last resort of the thoroughly incompetent.

    June 14, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Cindy

    The Republicans have been in trouble before with knee-jerk reactions. Please don't think that President Obama is not formulating a well-thought out, intelligent response to this difficult situation. If he reacted to everything all the "wanna – be Republican leaders" wanted him to do, he'd be dancing around like a puppet on a string. Maybe they ought to be formulating a leadership plan of their own, deciding on focus and unification of their party and identification of their leaders and leave the leadership to our elected leader, President Obama.

    June 14, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. T. Nicholson, Boston, MA

    Yes, brilliant suggestion Congressman. An American president supporting an Iranian politician will play really well there and assure him victory in this election. Is there a single republican left in this country with 2 brain cells to rub together at this point?

    June 14, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. tiff of lithia springs

    The US should mind its own business. Barack was elected to fix domestic affairs. Not meddle in foreign ones. He knows it and the GOP knows it too.

    June 14, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Jo

    "slow to speak but quick to listen" that's what we need.

    June 14, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. jason, tx

    wow, another Iranian election stolen.... surprise! The world should reject his presidency and his country should revolt. Ahmenastupid needs to go away.

    June 14, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. Decided Independent

    Definitely, it's time for Obama to give one of his killer, inspiring speeches, to help bolster the opposition movement in Iran.

    June 14, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. here we go

    that's right, stick are nose into someone's elses election. Isn't that what Bush did... Wanted a democratic election in the Middle East, then when Hamas won he had himself a hissy fit. They Iran figure this out for themselves without the US sticking it's nose in it.

    June 14, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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