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.
President Obama addressed House GOP leaders at a retreat in Baltimore Friday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Baltimore, Maryland (CNN) - President Obama and House GOP leaders promised greater efforts to step back from the partisan brink Friday, acknowledging that Washington's toxic political climate has made it increasingly tough to tackle major problems.
The pledge was immediately called into question, however, as the two parties repeatedly expressed sharply differing viewpoints during a rare meeting at a House Republican retreat in Baltimore.
Obama accepted an invitation from House GOP leaders to address their caucus. His speech Friday was followed by an often testy question-and-answer session.
"House Republican leaders are grateful for [Obama's] willingness to come ... and have a frank and honest conversation," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana. "We welcome the dialogue with the president."
The president accused Republicans of frequently mischaracterizing his policy proposals, particularly in the health care debate.
(CNN) – Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, told supporters Tuesday he will not challenge Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, in November and instead will run for re-election of his House seat.
Pence, who serves as chairman of the House Republican Conference, made the announcement in a letter that was posted to his Facebook page.
"After much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to remain in the House and to seek reelection to the 6th Congressional District in 2010," Pence wrote in the letter. "I am staying for two reasons. First because I have been given the responsibility to shape the Republican comeback as a member of the House Republican Leadership and, second, because I believe Republicans will win back the majority in the House of Representatives in 2010."
National Republicans were hoping that Pence would make the race because they saw him as the strongest candidate to challenge Bayh this year. Pence has a national following within the conservative movement and would likely have been able to raise enough money to compete with Bayh, who was first elected in 1998.
Asked by reporters about his reaction to the Pence decision, Bayh admittedly gave what he called a "non-answer."
"We have a very good relationship and I wish him well in his good service in the House of Representatives," said Bayh.
Full text of letter after the jump:
Washington (CNN) – In the wake of Republican Scott Brown's surprising win in this week's Senate special election in Massachusetts, the anti-tax Club for Growth is publicly urging Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, to challenge Sen. Evan Bayh this fall.
Pence is a hero to small-government conservatives who has beefed up his political operation in recent months along with making travels to states like Iowa and South Carolina, sparking talk that he is eyeing a White House run in 2012. Pence has also been mentioned as a potential successor to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels after Daniels' second term expires in 2013.
But the Club for Growth wants Pence to jump in the Senate race instead. Chris Chocola, the Club's president, said in a statement Thursday that Brown's win in Massachusetts "confirms that Indiana is a winnable race for a principled advocate of economic freedom and limited government."
"Mike Pence can beat Evan Bayh in November, and I join pro-growth conservatives in Indiana and around the country in hoping that he does," Chocola said.
On Wednesday, Pence confidante Tony Perkins - the president of the conservative Family Research Council - suggested to CNN that Pence isn't likely to run against Bayh. "I think he is positioned to move, but I just don't know if the Senate is where he will be," Perkins said.
Washington (CNN) – One of Indiana Rep. Mike Pence's political confidantes is downplaying speculation that the Republican congressman will challenge Sen. Evan Bayh this November.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council who speaks with Pence frequently, said the Republican "has many options before him," but doubted that a Senate bid is one of them.
"I think he is doing well where he is, and I think he is positioned to move, but I just don't know if the Senate is where will be," Perkins said in a phone interview with CNN. Pointing to his extensive political travels and efforts to elect conservatives, Perkins said Pence "is not just a congressman from Indiana."
Asked if he is "positioned to move" towards a White House run, Perkins said it's a possibility. "He has potential to reach that at some point, but I don't think he is in a hurry," he said. "I wouldn't see him making hard and fast decisions until this fall's elections, to see how things go."