June 14th, 2009
06:20 PM ET
9 years ago

Pence: Obama should speak out in favor of Iranian reformers

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.

“If you introduce a government-funded option into the private health insurance industry, millions and millions of Americans will lose their current health insurance because their employers will simply either choose to discontinue coverage or you’ll see health insurance companies out across the country say, ‘We can’t compete with Uncle Sam.’”

Pence also said that a government-funded health care plan would inevitably and ultimately involve rationing of treatments.

“What we ought to do,” said Pence, “is respect that doctor-patient relationship and look for ways that will strengthen our private health insurance system in this country.”

The Indiana Republican also slammed the Obama administration’s long-term fiscal outlook because of the unprecedented amounts of debt that the new administration is projecting.

“The answer to following an administration that doubled the national debt is not tripling the national debt in the next ten years,” Pence said Sunday.

Filed under: Health care • Iran • Mike Pence • Popular Posts • President Obama • State of the Union
soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. Dawn in Pa

    Something you are saying smart... Yeah we need to support the reformers in Iran....

    June 14, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. JDB

    Don't you think it'd be better to wait and get all the facts before leaping head-first into another countrys business?

    I'd prefer a more pragmatic approach than the cowboy approach Pence is calling for.

    Why doesn't mr. pence believe we're all entitled to the same health care plan he receives? A little healthy competition is good for free markets – or are republicans agains free markets now too?

    June 14, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Jake

    No, President Obama should not speak out on election results in Iran. To do so would only give fodder to the Iranian power structure, the religous Mullahs. They already believe the U.S. is trying to foment disruption of their society. They see us as the evil non-believers. We need to continue to be honest brokers and earn their respect; I don't think we will ever regain their trust. With time, we must hope that the opposition parties will grow and take Iran back from their religous right.

    June 14, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. Caryl

    It would have cut into the profits of the Military Industrial Complex if Iran ousted their fanatical, religious fundamentalist leader as the US has done recently. Too many rational, reasonal leaders is bad for businesses like Blackwater.

    June 14, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    we didn't elect Pence and never would.

    he's just another republican propaganda bully.

    limbaugh talking points – not news – move on folks.

    June 14, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Stay Active

    Where to start on this one. We do not need to speak out about the Iranian election. We need to wait and see how this ends. We WILL have to work with the winner.

    On health care. Why doesn't the Rep drop the insurance we pay for him. Try and get a good deal on a family of 5 without it. I am guessing about $900.00 a month.

    June 14, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. WDM

    As a democrat, I must say I completely agree with Pence. I hope Obama speaks out today in support of the Iranian reformists. On the other hand I totally disagree with Pence on his protectionist statements in favor of the Health Insurance Companies that are nothing but parasites who suck billions of dollars out of our economy, and contribute nothing.

    June 14, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. gg17

    What's he complaining about? The Iranian Republican won...

    June 14, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Sean

    I find his opening statement that "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" a bit tenuous. First, a retreat from the so-called "Cowboy Diplomacy" of President Bush does not imply that President Obama will be following some "apologize-because-we're-American" approach to foreign policy; there is a large middle ground between those two extremes, and he is likely seeking to land somewhere in there. Secondly, Iran, like it or not, is a sovereign state with its own government – we have little to no right to try to nudge its elections one way or another, regardless of how favorable one outcome might be to us. Such diplomatic grandstanding would be akin to the President of Iran actively endorsing candidate Obama last November. I highly doubt Representative Pence would have taken kindly to that.

    June 14, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Neutralizer

    How can Obama speak out in favor of Iranian reformers, when he HIMSELF wanted to be DICTATOR of this country. Get REAL people!

    While young Iranians RISKING their lives for DEMOCRACY, the people of this country are GIVING IT AWAY without a fight to Obama and the Democratic Party. Y'ALL MUST BE STUPID!

    As PRAVDA have said in their column, the American people GIVE UP whatever freedom they have so EASILY without a fight and call themselves FREE people.

    June 14, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Fla.

    This is why the disingenuous Pence is NOT part of a majority, and his LIES are part of the GOP. Again with the "apology" nonsense...I challenge you to find one "apology" or "sorry" in President Obama's respectful addresses overseas. That's Republican propaganda!

    Secretary of State Clinton diplomatically said it best yesterday, hoping the results represent the will of the Iranian people and recognizing we have to work the ultimate outcome.

    On health care, Pence sadly resorts to the same old fear-mongering (again).

    Regarding debt, Pence and his GOP have "NO" credibility after enabling Pres. Bush's irresponsible spending! Give me a break.

    June 14, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. V. Brame

    And we should listen to this guy why? We tried being hostile and not talking to Ahmadinejad for the last eight years. We did not exactly get the guy to fold now did we? Shut up and let President Obama do things the logical way for a change. Its not as if he can make a bigger mess then the Bush Republicans did.

    June 14, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. MAndo

    The moment is ripe to topple the mullahs and restore Iran to a truly democratic and free society. If only W were still President...

    June 14, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. joe smith

    these people are 20 years from civility; but, what about netanyahou saying he will entertain an unarmed palestine; but, it's ok for israel to have all the weapons known to man, and more; but the palestinians, keep using your rocks, and sticks, and we will use the power of the press, ( cnn,msn,abc,cbs,fox ) to show your defiance worldwide, imagine your stones up against, us made tomahok missles,m16 carbines, and don't forget that nuclear thing..how dare you threaten us with stones..

    June 14, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. economist

    The only goal of chicken-hawks like Mike Pence is to stir up conflict. The President will support the "reform" candidate when and if we determine that the election was rigged. To do otherwise is to taint the process in Iran and make it more difficult for reformers to attain legitimacy in Iran.

    June 14, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. King Obama needs advice--quick!

    Please help this guy out. Obama is in way over his head. He thinks he's king of the world and that we're his subjects. If he would stop stroking his own ego, he might see what he SHOULD be doing as President.

    June 14, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. JL

    G ot
    P lans

    June 14, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. Iranians dissed Obama.....

    Iranians rejected Obama's apologetic speech in Egypt.........and they will move forward with their nuclear program just as N. Korea is doing...

    They all know that Obama is weak and only wants to give speeches that are meaningless.....people want to see actions and Obama leaves them wanting.....

    June 14, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. Drew

    “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,”
    -What part of not interfering with the government of other sovereign nations does this guy not get? Someone needs to go back to high school for a history lesson. Look what happened the last time we interfered in Iranian politics. Iranian hostage crisis ring any bells?

    June 14, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. The Iranian election is a ......

    complete rejection of Obama's speech in Egypt......

    Countries like Iran and N. Korea have no fear of Obama because he is all words and no action. Obama keeps threatening them but never follows through--people become immune to that after a while.

    June 14, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. katiec

    There is no way President Obama can get involved in this election if we want any further relationship with Iran and Pence knows this. His olive branch and apology statement was absolutely irresponsible and ridiculous.
    The republicans are working their way to becoming our nations most dangerous domestic terrorists.

    June 14, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Larry Frye

    Mr. Pence would have our great president accused of interference in the internal affairs of another nation.

    June 14, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Bo

    Why is Pence so afraid of public health insurance? That's what he has as a congressman. If it's good enough for them, why not good enough for all citizens?!

    June 14, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. Hotdog

    Apparently, you were not listening when the President spoke in Cairo. I disagree with your position because the United States already have bad relations with countries in the Middle East as a result of the previous administration. We should let the Iranian reformers attend to their own business of reforming their country and keep our mouths closed.

    June 14, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. rr

    I think cnn should have Rusty Depass comparing Michelle Obama to a Gorilla. What's with the GOP

    June 14, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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