(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.
Washington (CNN) – A prominent House Republican said Sunday that his caucus will do whatever it can to try to stop passage of a Democratic health care reform plan.
“Well, I don’t know if they have the votes,” Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, said on State of the Union, just minutes after Rep. John Larson, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Democrats had lined up the 216 votes necessary to pass the legislation. “House Republicans are going to use every means at our disposal,” Pence said.
Related video: Larson, Pence on health reform
When asked by CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley exactly what House Republicans intended to do, Pence was coy. “Well, stay tuned, Candy. It’s going to be an interesting day.”
The House is set to take up the final Democratic package on Sunday afternoon.
The Indiana Republican also suggested Sunday that Democrats could pay a price at the polls in this year’s midterm elections if they succeed in passing health care reform.
“I don’t know if they [Democrats] have the votes today,” Pence told Crowley as he looked at Larson, “but I guarantee you the American people know they have the votes in November.”
Washington (CNN) – Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a stalwart foe of government spending, won a blowout victory Saturday in the annual Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll.
With participants naming "reducing the size of federal government" as their top issue, the 74-year old libertarian hero captured 31 percent of the nearly 2,400 votes cast in the annual contest, usually seen as a barometer of how the GOP's conservative wing views their potential presidential candidates.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finished second with 22 percent of the vote, ending a three-year winning streak at CPAC. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin finished third with 7 percent of the vote, followed by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 6 percent and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence at 5 percent.
They were followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who tied at 4 percent. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, South Dakota Sen. John Thune and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour rounded out the results.
Five percent of participants voted for "Other" and six percent were undecided.
Washington (CNN) – Indiana Rep. Mike Pence made no apologies Friday for trying to stop President Obama's agenda in Congress, telling conservative activists he proudly wears the "Party of No" label that Democrats have tried to pin on Republicans.
"Some folks like to call us the 'Party of No,' Pence said during his speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference. "Well, I say 'No' is way underrated here in Washington, D.C. Sometimes 'No' is just what this town needs to hear."
Pence, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, used the address to this influential bloc of GOP base voters to further promote his conservative credentials and sharply criticize the president and the congressional Democratic majority.
Washington (CNN) - Though it would have been next to impossible for him to garner the signatures necessary to get on the Republican primary ballot by Tuesday afternoon, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence re-iterated Monday that he has no interest in running for the Senate this year.
National Republicans courted Pence to challenge Sen. Evan Bayh last month, before it was known that the Indiana Democrat was going to retire. Former Sen. Dan Coats entered the race earlier this month, but Pence's name was mentioned again after it was learned that Bayh would not seek a third term.
"After receiving considerable encouragement to run for the United States Senate last month, Mr. Pence made a decision to seek re-election to the House of Representatives and help lead a conservative comeback in 2010 and that decision stands," Pence spokesman Matt Lloyd said. "Mr. Pence's decision was made irrespective of polls or Senator Bayh's intention to seek re-election."
Washington (CNN) – Marco Rubio, a one-time long shot candidate in Florida's Republican senatorial primary, is getting a big boost from a GOP House leader.
House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence is endorsing Rubio, the Florida Republican's campaign announced Monday.
"I am proud to endorse Marco Rubio for the United States Senate," the Indiana Republican said in a statement released by the Rubio campaign. "Marco Rubio's faith in free markets, limited government and traditional moral values make him the right choice for Republicans in this race."
Rubio is set to face off against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who was once considered the favorite in this GOP primary. Rubio's candidacy, in part, has been fueled by conservatives including those who align themselves with the Tea Party movement.
(CNN) – Indiana Rep. Mike Pence will keynote a Republican dinner in New Hampshire next month, a move that is certain to fuel speculation he is interested in making a run for the White House.
Pence, who recently ruled out a bid to challenge Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh is the keynote speaker for the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner on March 19 in Bedford, New Hampshire. The event is a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party.
Pence also visited Iowa and South Carolina in recent months, two other early presidential proving grounds.