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."
Washington (CNN) – Add one more name to the growing list of potential 2012 presidential contenders attending the 2010 Southern Republican Leadership Conference in April: Mike Pence.
An aide to the Indiana Republican confirmed the speaking appearance.
Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, has a serious following among fiscal conservatives and has already made trips to the early proving grounds of Iowa and South Carolina.
By delivering remarks to the SRLC - a major gathering of Republican officials and activists from 14 southern states, held this year in New Orleans - Pence is signaling that he intends to remain part of the early presidential chatter. The event is held every two to four years and usually conducts a presidential straw poll.
Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are all making appearances at the event, but Mitt Romney is not. Mike Huckabee has not yet said if he will attend.
Washington (CNN) – Rep. Mike Pence, chair of the House Republican Conference, said Tuesday that President Obama had accepted an invitation to address GOP members of Congress at the group's retreat later this month.
"House Republicans are grateful that the President of the United States has accepted our invitation to meet with the Republican Conference later this month," Pence said in a statement released by his office. "House Republicans look forward to presenting the president with our proposals to protect our nation, create jobs, control federal spending, lower the cost of health care, achieve energy independence and strengthen families."
The House Republican Conference is slated to meet in Baltimore Jan. 28-30.
Washington (CNN) - In the GOP's Thanksgiving Day message, Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence laid out the party's prescription for economic growth, and slammed the Obama administration's approach.
"[W]hile empty chairs for America's defenders were placed at Thanksgiving dinner tables in many homes, many other seats were filled with anxious Americans who are facing their own personal battles and struggles," Pence says in the latest weekly GOP radio and Web address. "Millions of families have seen jobs and careers vanish in the midst of this recession.
"Many are asking, 'when will things get better?' Many more are asking, 'where are the jobs?'
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.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Rep. Mike Pence, criticizing President Obama for not saying more in support of protestors in Iran, said Wednesday that he is taking another step to show solidarity for the dissenting citizens of the country.
"I appreciate the fact that the president said the protesters have a right to be heard and represented, and I appreciate the fact that he said he is troubled," Pence said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room. "But I respectfully disagree with the administration's decision to essentially draw the line at not meddling and not interfering."
Pence, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a resolution in the House that he said would "speak a word of support for the people of Iran." He said he didn't think the United States should endorse the opposition candidate, but should instead show support for the protesters who are "risking their lives for free and fair elections."
Pence said showing support could lead to a "fresh start" with the citizens of Iran.
"I really believe we may have an opportunity for a fresh start here, not with the tyrants in Tehran, not with Ahmadinejad, who even looks at what this administration is doing and accuses them of meddling," Pence said. "But rather with the good and decent and courageous people of Iran who are stepping forward and risking their liberty and their lives for principles that we as Americans cherish."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – On the same day that Vice President Biden said he had doubts about the validity of the Iranian election results, Indianan Republican Rep. Mike Pence urged President Obama to speak out in favor of the forces of reform in the Middle Eastern country.
“First and foremost, we need to take a half step back from this administration’s olive branch-and-apology approach to enemies and countries that have been hostile to the United States of America and our allies,” Pence said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
“I’m hoping, before the end of the day today, the President of the United States will speak a word of support for Mr. Moussavi and for the dissidents and the reformers within Iran,” said Pence, referring to the defeated challenger to incumbent Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
And moving on to another issue in the news, Pence criticized the desire of some Democrats to include a public insurance option in the health care reform bill Congress will soon begin work on.
“I keep hearing the word ‘competition’,” Pence told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “The government competes in the private sector the way an alligator competes with a duck,” said Pence.
(CNN) – Indiana Rep. Mike Pence on Saturday touted the Republicans' omnibus, “all-of-the-above” energy plan, while warning that proposals from Democrats would lead to higher energy prices and massive job losses.
Pence, the chairman of the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group, and other House Republicans this week introduced the American Energy Act, a plan they say will reduce energy costs, create jobs and help clean up the environment.
The plan calls for expanded exploration of domestic sources for oil and natural gas, a commitment to nuclear energy, investments in renewable and alternative energy technology and incentives for the public to focus on conservation.
“The American Energy Act is the comprehensive energy solution this country desperately needs to achieve energy independence, create good jobs and help our environment,” Pence said in the weekly Republican address.
Republicans have criticized the Democrats' proposal to curb greenhouse emissions using the so-called “cap-and-trade” program, saying it amounts to an energy tax.
A bill drafted by Democrats sets a target for cutting greenhouse gases by 17 percent from their 2005 levels by 2020. An auction for the credits, which effectively starts in 2014, allows businesses that meet the new energy standard to sell their credits to those who are still working to become more energy efficient. The theory is that as businesses become more energy efficient and less polluting, the market in pollution credits will help bring down emissions.