WASHINGTON (CNN) – Indiana Rep. Mike Pence has given high-profile speeches to conservative groups and journeyed to the presidential primary states of Iowa and South Carolina, travels that have generated chatter among Republican insiders that he might seek the presidency in 2012.
Now Pence is heading back to South Carolina once again, this time to raise money next Monday for his fellow congressman Gresham Barrett, who is leaving his seat in the House to run for governor. Pence has also lined up a meeting with the Charleston County Republican Party executive committee, a visit that was initiated by the congressman.
"He was coming down here for Gresham, and as a result of being here he called and offered if he could stop by and say hi," Charleston County GOP chairwoman Lin Bennett told CNN. Asked if she thought the appointment means Pence is putting feelers out for possible White House bid, Bennett said, "It does, but that's okay."
"That kind of thing usually starts to happen this time," she said, describing past meetings with possible presidential contenders. "I just hope it doesn't happen as early this time as it did during the last cycle."
Pence made an earlier trip to South Carolina in May 2008 to headline the state GOP's annual "Silver Elephant Dinner," which offered the congressman a chance to meet some of the state's top Republican players. Another Palmetto State connection: Pence's direct mail firm is Lexington-based Starboard Communications, which is headed up by Walter Whetsell, one of the state's top political consultants.
Before Pence's meeting on Monday with local activists, Pence will attend the private fundraiser for Barrett at a waterfront restaurant in Charleston. According to Barrett spokesman B.J. Boling, the two men "have a close friendship through their service in the House" and have "fought together for the conservative cause."
Aides to rival gubernatorial candidates also seeking the GOP nomination were quick to point out that Pence and Barrett haven't always seen eye-to-eye on issues dear to conservatives: Pence voted against President Bush's bailout of troubled financial institutions last October. Barrett voted for it.
Barrett's opponents in the Republican gubernatorial primary are Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, Attorney General Henry McMaster, state Sen. Larry Grooms and state Rep. Nikki Haley.
Asked if she thought the appointment means Pence is putting feelers out for possible White House bid, Bennett said, "It does, but that's okay."
Mike Pence is amongst the Party of No thugs called the Republican Party.
Man oh man. That state doesn't need any more wealthy republicans taking from the poor and spending it on their mistresses.
Oh Mr. Pence... PLEASE run for Presidency in 2012! And, while you're at it make Joe "the Wilson" to the ticket as your running mate!
I enjoyed watching him lie about health care reform at his town hall meeting. I think he is ready to represent the 20% that still claim to be a wingnut. He does appear to be brighter than Pawlenty.
South Carolina.....an utterly corrupt state now being made even worse, if that's even possible.
That's right. Go to the most hypocritical GOP state in the US. When are the people of that state gonna oust these phonies?
At least Pence hasn't met with and supported the military coup leaders in Honduras like Demint.
Is This Another Rising Star In The Republican Party? Haha...what a pathetic party – they don't even know who their leader is...
Mike Pence is another doleful dolt and he can deal a death blow to those w/ pleasant and smiling faces. It appears that the stonewalling, stone-faced, and sickening faces are quite descriptive of those GOP guys as JB, EC, MM, JW, JD, and MP-another " gang of six ".
Once again, I have to ask, when are these people going to evolve? I've taken my kids to the Carolinas; they now know what a neanderthal looks like instead of jmy ust pointing to a picture of Cheny on the internet. I thank them for their service, and I encourage them to discover fire at their earliest possible opprtunity.
What?? A New Yorker critical of Souith Carolina?? You have time to sit behind your computer? Shouldn't you be on the second job to save up to pay your taxes?
Why South Carolina? Are they going to start another Civil War? I remember that Southern Indiana supported the South.
As far as Honduras goes, they operated within the confines of their constitution. The real issue is this adminiistration is heartbroken because the guy who got the boot was a leftist! You know how they feel about leftists in DC!
A meeting of the Un-Americans. They make me nausea!!!
It is one of the toughest job in the world. I cant believe that people, actually want this job.
I have seen Obama go from looking like someone in the 30's to someone like 50's. Sometimes, he looks like he didnt even get 1 hour of sleep, especially, after speaking out at the UN.
Ah the beauty of those sagging eyes.....
Another GOP CLOWN LOSER
I just learned from Steve that it is OK for a souther senator to go against American Policy if an elected leader in Honduras is a 'Leftist.'
He'd do great if the Confederacy still existed and that was where he was running. But, honestly, look at that guy and tell me if he has a shot at President. Republicans still looking for their person. They need to find someone who doesn't look like the villain in every Civil Rights movie you've ever seen.
Mike Pence, really? hehe!!!!!!
What good do you intend to do Mr. Pence? You couldn't have good cridentials needed any where other than your own state.
I watched the rioting and fighting in the streets by the military coup in Honduras. It did not seem to be a peaceful transition. They violated that country's constitution, but Honduras Jim now tells us they are going to follow the constitution.
With the GOP's line up of presidential hopefuls....... 2012 should be a breeze for President Obama!
America has not forgotten the Bush Disaster!
Oh good, another name to add to the "not a snowballs chance" list of republican candidates.
Isnt' there some nice theocracy somewhere this wingnut could rule? The US does not lean that far to the right, nor are they that stupid.
As far as I am concerned, they can keep this jerk.. I am beginning to think Indiana is ass backwards.. We have a governor who throws a temper tantum when things don't go exactly as he wants..Daniels was and is a Bush plant..