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:
(CNN) – Indiana Rep. Mike Pence – the winner of a socially conservative presidential straw poll over the weekend – is playing down the controversies surrounding Tea Party-backed candidate Christine O'Donnell, saying it's the surprise Senate nominee's message that's most important.
"I don't think Delaware's about Christine O'Donnell," Pence told CNN's John Roberts on American Morning. "I know there'll be this nitpicking and attempts to take things out of context. Certainly she has some explaining to do about that to her voters in Delaware.
"But at the end of the day, what's bringing people out and creating a momentum for what could be real change in America is that the American people are tired of the borrowing, the spending, the bailouts, and the takeovers, and they're looking for men and women that are willing to stand up and be counted and take on the establishment," Pence added.
(CNN) – With 24 percent of the vote, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence was the winner Saturday of the fifth annual Values Voter straw poll, an early test of where a string of potential 2012 presidential candidates stand among socially conservative voters.
Runner-up was former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (22 percent), the winner of the same poll last year. In third place was former Massachusetts governor and White House hopeful Mitt Romney (13 percent), while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich placed fourth (10 percent).
Sarah Palin, who did not attend this year’s convention, placed fifth (7 percent).
“What is fascinating about these results is that it reflects what has been happening in primaries across the country,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who announced the results.
The vote came after a two-day conference in Washington, during which a veritable "who's who" of rising Republican stars and possible White House contenders made appearances.
Sen. Mitch McConnell:
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says he will support and donate money to the Senate campaign of Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party-backed surprise winner of Delaware's Republican primary.
"I'll be supporting the Republican nominee and we wish her the best," McConnell said Wednesday morning.
McConnell's support comes despite concerns in the Republican Party that it will be difficult for O'Donnell to win the general election.
Washington (CNN) – Republican Rep. Mike Pence criticized the Obama administration and Democrats in Washington on Saturday, delivering a biting attack on the economic and fiscal policies promoted by a legislature and White House controlled by Democrats.
"The economic policies of this administration have failed,” Pence said in Saturday’s weekly Republican address.
"In the worst economy in a quarter of a century, American families are hurting. That's obvious to just about everybody, except that is the Democrats in Washington, D.C.,” the Indiana Republican said.
"You know, it's more clear every day, they just don't get it. Washington politicians just aren't listening and the American people know it.”
But on the same day President Obama capped his week by touting the Wall Street reform bill that became law Wednesday, Pence was instead looking to the future, and warning of tax increases.
Washington (CNN) - One day before the first official meeting of the Tea Party caucus in the House of Representatives, the big question on Capitol Hill which Republicans will join the new caucus?
Rep. Michele Bachmann proposed and pushed for the caucus. The conservative congresswoman from Minnesota, who's a favorite of many Tea Party activists, won approval for the new organization late last week from the Democratic leadership.
Bachmann tells CNN that she's invited "a number of members" to come to the group's first meeting, which will be held prior to a news conference to premiere the caucus.
But she says she already has a big name on board.
(CNN) – A leading congressional conservative disagreed Sunday with a suggestion by his state's governor that social issues be put on the back burner in order to allow policymakers to focus on turning the economy around and bringing the federal government’s finances into balance.
Speaking to The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication, Indiana's Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, said the next president "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues" so he or she could focus on the fiscal problems facing the country.
Asked about the comments, GOP Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana praised Daniels but rejected his contention about social issues as the midterm elections approach and as both parties begin to turn their attention to the 2012 presidential race.
“I think Mitch Daniels is the best governor in the United States of America. He’s done a fantastic job for the people of Indiana,” Pence said on CNN’s State of the Union.
But, Pence quickly added that, in his view, “Barack Obama’s the most pro-abortion president in American history.”
“I believe with all my heart,” Pence told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, “that Republicans need to continue to fight for the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage with everything we’ve got in 2010 and in 2012.”
(CNN) - Indiana Rep. Mike Pence is returning to the early primary state of South Carolina as he continues to consider the possibility of a presidential bid in 2012.
Pence will host a fundraiser for Rep. Joe Wilson on Friday in Columbia.
The Chairman of the House Republican Conference first made a splash in the Palmetto State when he spoke to the South Carolina GOP's annual Silver Elephant Banquet - the state party's biggest fundraiser - in May 2008.
Since then, he has made a handful of stops in the state - along with political visits to the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
(CNN) – Speaking to a largely conservative audience, a Republican lawmaker said Friday that the country has been experiencing a moral crisis in addition to the economic crisis that began on Wall Street in late 2008.
Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana gave an impassioned address to the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pence, who frequently describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican – in that order," said the GOP has been down on its luck in the wake of President Obama's historic election.
But Pence claimed that, in the last year, his party had experienced a reawakening. As evidence, he cited conservative protests against the president's policies and recent Republican victories in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
Pence said that his party lost its way on the issue of fiscal discipline during the Bush administration. But told the gun rights supporters, "My party – Republicans in Congress – we're back in the fight and we're back in the fight on the right."
Pence also said that fixing the country's financial problems and retaking the reins of power in Washington would not be enough to fix, what he sees, as the nation's ills.
"…A vision for a better America will also recognize that our present crisis is not merely economic and political but moral in nature.
"At the root of these times, should be a realization that people in positions of authority have walked away from the timeless truths of honesty and integrity, an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, and the simple idea that a person ought to treat the other person the way they want to be treated," Pence said.
And as he claimed that the country is headed in the wrong under the president, Pence talked about putting the country on a different track.
"We will not restore this nation with public policy alone. It will require public virtue and that emanates from our most cherished institutions: family and religion.
(CNN) – Here's the latest sign Rep. Mike Pence is mulling a possible presidential run in 2012: the Indiana Republican will address an anti-health care reform rally in Iowa City Wednesday night. Pence will be beamed into the event, put on by the Iowa Republican Party, via Skype.
Iowa City, of course, is where President Obama will visit on Thursday to promote the health care bill he signed into law this week.
The "Stand Up for Freedom Rally" will take place at the University of Iowa.
"I'm proud to have Congressman Pence standing with Iowans tonight and standing up against the continued assault on our personal and economic freedoms from the Obama administration and Iowa's congressional Democrats," Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn said in a statement.
Pence has already made political stops in Iowa, traditionally home to the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. He's also visited the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina.