Washington (CNN) – Aides to Indiana GOP Rep. Mike Pence haven't been shy about stirring up presidential buzz about their boss, especially after his victory last month in the Values Voters Summit 2012 straw poll.
Now Pence is heading to Des Moines on Saturday to address the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition - his second trip to the first-in-the-nation caucus state this cycle - and his office has released excerpts of his speech, an overture to both fiscal and social conservatives.
"These are serious times," Pence will say, according to the prepared remarks. "A nation conceived in liberty has come of age in bondage to big government. We've lost respect to the world. We are going broke. And our social and cultural fabric is unraveling. People are scared."
Read excerpts from Pence's prepared remarks after the jump:
Iowa Christian Alliance president Steve Scheffler told CNN Friday that Pence earned high marks from conservative activists during the Bush adminstration for "not playing the same old go-along-to-get-along game" that turned off the GOP base in 2006 and 2008.
Scheffler said Pence's September 17 speech at the Values Voters Summit, in which he urged Republicans not to abandon their moral compass even in a time of economic crisis, "touched all the high points" that GOP caucus-goers like to hear.
"If he touches all the similar points here, people will be impressed," he said. "I think if he does decide to run for president he will certainly have a good hearing here in Iowa - if he continues to do the things that he's done in the past."
Scheffler said more than 600 people are expected at Saturday's event.
Excerpts from Pence's prepared remarks to the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition:
"Even Republicans in Congress are getting back to fiscal discipline and reform. Let's be honest, four years ago Republicans in Congress didn't just lose their majority, they lost their way. When I opposed No Child Left Behind, when I opposed the Medicare prescription drug bill, and when I opposed the Wall Street bailout, I knew that if we kept acting like big government liberals, the American people were eventually going to go with the professionals. And they did.
"The truth is our party in Congress walked away from the principles that minted our national governing majority and the American people walked away from us.
"These are serious times. A nation conceived in liberty has come of age in bondage to big government. We've lost respect to the world. We are going broke. And our social and cultural fabric is unraveling. People are scared.
"In the face of their failed leadership, our party must have the courage to produce a vision for a better America that will return our national government to the common sense and common values of everyday Americans.
"Finally, a vision for a better America must recognize that our present crisis is not merely economic and political, but moral in nature. At the root of these times should be the realization that people in positions of authority have walked away from the timeless truths of honesty, integrity, an honest day's work for an honest day's pay and the simple notion that you ought to treat the other guy the way you want to be treated. We will not restore this nation with public policy alone. It will require public virtue, and that emanates from the traditional institutions of our nation – life, family and religion."