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. Larry

    Pence ...

    A nobody speaking the same old sound bites ...

    Period ...

    The Party Of NO ... sadly so ...

    June 14, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Leah

    Speaking out and support the reformers is absolutely not a good idea.
    If the reformers doesn't win, US will have to continue to work with the current Iran president and things will be a lot harder to deal with.
    The smartest thing to do is observe with care
    jumping the gun will only ended up killing yourself

    June 14, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  3. haren

    Yes Iran should have speak out for Gore and Kerry about our 2000 and 2004 election.

    June 14, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. M

    Ron in VA,

    I totally agree you with you man. Iranians need to lead and wage the fight against what THEY deem as the opposition force. The fact that this election was held in the first place says a lot about what Iranians want for their country. Let the Iranian people take the lead in this process; thinking people understand where America stands in terms of democracy, and our President is doing the right thing by letting this process play out and be controlled by the people of Iran...The fight for democracy has just begun in that country, and the people are spearheading it.

    June 14, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    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".
    --------------------------------
    As a matter of fact I am pleased with the direction President Obama is headed. He has a long way to go, it"s going to take longer than 5-6 months to undue the 8 years of damage tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber inflected on this country but he'll get there. Speaking of kissing, wasn't that your boy bush holding hands and kissing some Saudi ?

    June 14, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Kyle

    It's easy for Pence to say stuff like this. He's not the one who has to deal with Iran.

    June 14, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. haren

    Obama is elected by majority of American public to reform Health care system and he should not listen to any of this republican leaders.

    June 14, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. Grrr-awful-o

    Obama speak out in support of Iranian reformers? Those days are over. We now want to extend an olive branch to the dictators instead (lord chamberlin)...

    Latte anyone?

    June 14, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. saeid

    worse you can do is supporting Irans reformist! because they use your support as a reason to hit harder on them!!!

    June 14, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. David Newport, OR

    Oh sure...close the door just like a Republican always does. Instead, Obama should keep his mouth shut and work behind the scenes. Why? Because this country (Iran) will be the start of WW3. Are you really ready to fight this war now?

    June 14, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    @Champly.Well I think you do have serious mental health issues and are in dire need of help.Lets hope your serious about finding help before its too late.

    June 14, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. phillydan

    Pence must have his head where the sun don't shine because all that is coming out of his mouth is manure. Let's hear the details of a public health insurance program before we start bashing it. Maybe the public health care plan will have private insurance carriers involved with it similar to the FEHBP (Federal Employee Health Benefit Program)..

    I recommend all Americans go to that website and read the details and how the plan works. If the public program is similar in structure and detail to that program, then it is a winner.

    Let the Iranian people decide their own fate. If they think the elections were a fraud, then let them keep up the protests and put the pressure on Ayatollah Khameini and the ruling Mullahs. Words of support won't change anything. What will change things is the Iranian people taking to the streets and taking their country back.

    June 14, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Thin skinned Repubs

    This is precisely why I'm glad Obama is President and not McCain. Just because Moussavi has positioned himself as a "reformer" doesn't make it so. It's a shame Repubs are so simple-minded that they'll fall for Iranian PR for Moussavi.

    Repubs are reactionary dummies.

    How come we are not talking about Rep. Mark Kirk's treasonous behavior with the Communist Chinese.

    June 14, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. No Hillary = No Obama

    I thought Obama's reaction and comments about the Iranian elections was weak and watered-down. But I also thought Hillary's comments were just as weak. How much does Hillary Clinton have to speak the Obama line? I wonder if Hillary feels conflicted about what she says when she has to placate the Obama image? If anything, I hope the world wakes up and smells the Irianian corruption. Who runs the Iranian government – those religious men wtih their beards and turbans – the election was a puppet show and the world should be outraged as should Obama.

    June 14, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Brian MacDougall

    This is their deal. The last thing Iranians on either side want is foreign intervention of any sort. How would Mr. Pence have felt if Iran had taken sides in 2000?

    June 14, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. Cheryl F

    Well, if anyone had any doubts about who's stuffing this republican senator's bank account, one need look no further than the lobbyists for obscenely rich for-profit health care cartel.

    We need single payer health care. We do not need for-profit health care of any kind in this country, get rid of it.

    June 14, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. Bell County Democrat

    I'm not sure why MIke Pence is the guy to offer commentary to on elections in Iran. His most recent claim to fame seemed to stem from championing opposition to reviving the Fairness Doctrine, an agenda that interested no rational person in the Democratic Party. But his desire for the U.S. President to begin actively inserting himself into Iran's political process by openly endorsing opposition to the current regime seems naive at best. Obama promised a return to grown up pragmatism with our foreign policy. He recognizes that while we may not much approve of the current folks in charge in Iran, they will likely be the very people we have to deal with to deter nuclear expansion. Cheerleading those who oppose them seems like a childish and absurd position to in which to place the President. And his characaterization of our current approach as "olive branch and apology" just sound like regurgitation of Fox News talking headdom.

    June 14, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  18. bon

    As usual, an important overeas event, the election in Iran, receives the silent treatment from Mr. Obama. This again shows the utter lack of experience from this president on how to project an apparent interest on issues that matter most. One has to interpret this action on the President's part as his way of hoping this issue would just fade.

    June 14, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. Len Smith

    Pence should know better then to ask the President to comment.

    June 14, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. james #1

    Just like the Repukelickins to want to go out and tell everyone else how things should be done. Look at what a great job they did, and you'll soon realize that thet're really good at tellin', but not so good at doin'.

    June 14, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. A Canadian and proud of it

    As you falsly malign everyone else's health care based on Republican talking points and the attack ads paid for by the health care industry, know this: The thing that keeps Canadians ever on the alert that our universal health care is NEVER in danger from any politician is that we DO NOT WANT anything to do with the health care in the United States.

    Fraud, bankruptcies, people not covered, 1 200 dollars more to bulid a car in the US than our country because of your costs, no pre existing conditions....quit criticizing other countries and clean up your own messes.

    Our greatest hero as voted as on by Canadians was Tommy Douglas who was the father of our system!

    June 14, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. Eugene

    Oh, great, more sage advice from the folks that brought us Iraq, 9/11, and a wonderful reputation for our country worldwide.

    June 14, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. Jim

    You are a representative for a few thousand people in Indiana. Shut up.

    June 14, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. P. Y.

    @ New Day
    I agree with you 100%.
    All we can do is sit back and see what happens. We CANNOT invade another country because we don't agree with their politics. Thank God G. W. Bush or McCain aren't in office with their cowboy antics.

    June 14, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  25. S.B.

    We don't know what happened in Iran's election so let's stay out of it.
    We have enough problems of our own to solve. The Iranians need to solve their own election problems.

    As to health care, I thought the Republicans were all in favor of competition. They keep telling us that's what's wrong with our education system, not enough competition.

    June 14, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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