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. tjaman

    And alligator vs a duck? Perhaps: Fat, self-interested, usurious ducks who do nothing to advance the health or healing of anyone. We can only hope to see such a competition.

    June 14, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. JJ in WNY

    uh... there are a lot of us that feel that the republicans STOLE the election in 2000, and some of us still feel there were a LOT of irregularities in ohio and elsewhere in 2004... it cracks me up so much that they care when it's not THEIR country rigging elections! are you kidding me???

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

    Thanks, but no thanks, Mike. We need to stay out of it. The last thing we need to do is choose sides.

    Don't these clowns ever stop?

    June 14, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. John

    I agree that the inusrance companies won't be able to compete they way they run things today. That is the point that goes over the republican parties heads though. WHY do think they cannot compete? coul dit be the Bilions and BIllions of profit they make now? If a competitor came along and put that money into healthcare instead of thier billions in bonus and fat salaries, of course they could not compete. Repuclicans keep pretending that the they system we have now is working. Just like they did with the economy, "everything is fine the way it is" until it is too late to fix it without a disaster like the one we are dealing with now. You are either for the billionaire fat cats or the people, its treally that simple.

    June 14, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. James Schwartz

    Nothing in the President's public reaction to Iran is conciliatory to our enemies. This Pence appears to be a dangerous psychopath and whose voice is, mercifully, in the minority. I recommend that he be sterilized so he cannot procreate, thus preventing contamination of future generations.

    June 14, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    what evee he wants to do he has to do it before it is tooo late

    June 14, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. John

    He's right you know.

    June 14, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. greg sf ca

    Do shut up, Mike. You don't know what you're talking about and are just embarrassing yourself.

    June 14, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Charles

    Mr. Pence,

    If government insurance is good for you than it should be good for the rest of the country. I want the same health insurance you have, Rep. Pence

    June 14, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. Ivan

    Freedom and liberty are the essential parts of a democracy. Bush, Cheney and their cohorts did everything to destroy the USA by riding roughshod over these basic elements.
    Now Mr. Obama is doing a hell of a job trying to make America a credible, strong country again, and it's the toughest undertaking in the world. He handles every tough problem with aplomb and dignity and even humour, unlike the bumbling embarassment called Bush.
    This Pence thing is not worth tuppence, as opinions are like you- know-what, and everyone has one. What plan do repugnicans have, solid, sensible plans to lead and serve America? NONE. They only want to say 'NO' to everything and everyone, and blast Mr. Obama at every turn. Their saber rattling and violent ways are all they know. Did I mention greed? Whiney, pouty and dangerously misguided are they.

    June 14, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Robert

    A republican wants Obama to speak out about a rigged election. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA All the democrats did that in the BUSH stolen and rigged elections and what happened? YEA that's right nothing and that was in the United States of NO Democracy.

    June 14, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Peter E

    We sure like to lecture other countries about how to conduct their elections... And yet we are the ONLY democratic nation in the world where the person getting the second most number of popular votes can still become president. We continually disenfranchise millions of our own citizens. And while we boss around the world, we sure get upset in case other countries protest our president, their world dictator!

    June 14, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. mother and sister of a soldier

    I truly hope sane individuals will realize the impact on our health care should the government intervene and oppose this type reform. I personally do not want health that my Canadian and British friends experience nor do I want the government dictating the type of care I can receive for my particular condition. Do proponents not realize the Obama's and friends will have private insurance (like the Brits) to open the doors to a better level of care?
    Obviously, Bush was right about the axis of evil North Korea and Iran certainly have not changed their ways with Obama's apologies and olive branches. How will he handle our enemies now? I hope effectively and not blame this too on past administrations!

    June 14, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Defend Our Constitution

    Are you kidding? The last time an American president spoke out in favor of an Iranian reformer, the opponents of reform in Iran used that against the reformer! This Republican Pence guy needs to realize that sometimes opening your mouth at the wrong time actually hurts your cause, rather than helps it.

    June 14, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Dennis in Orlando, FL

    Who cares what Mike Pence thinks!! The guy is irrelevant as is the GOP. If the GOP had the answers to the foreign issues we face, then they would have been solved!!! I don't know how these people who have been in Washington so long can criticize a man on everything he does. THE GOP IS A JOKE PERIOD!!! They have no answers!! If they did we wouldn't be where we are now!!

    June 14, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Kyle

    It's Hoosier, not Indianan

    June 14, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Limbaugh is a Liberal

    With all due respect to Pence, the way private insurance bureaucrats make profits off of denying me health services that 'duck' was the size of a size scraper already, feeding off the poor! We need an alternative, to drive down health costs. The reason why health insurers complain that they 'can't compete' with that is because they've already way over-inflated their fees. If there is a cheaper alternative, I will take it. My health should not be exploited for profit!

    June 14, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. sky

    The Conservatives have not business telling anyone about increasing the debt. They have done nothing in the last eight years but increase our debt. Anyone who believes they have anyone but themselves in mind is a fool of the highest order. They have done nothing but misrepresent the President proposals at every turn.
    First off, on Healthcare. The goal: to make sure that everyone in America, if they need medical attention, should be able to get it and it should not bankrupt them. Let get our ideology out of the way and do this.
    On Israel: As long as they think that they are the chosen people of GOD and everyone else is less than them there will be no peace. This must be addressed but as yet no one has the guts.

    June 14, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

    “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.

    Just so long as you understand that the FOR PROFIT Insurance/HMO industry are the Alligator in this scenario.

    June 14, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Reggie

    Obama needs all the help/advice he can get. He's in way over his head.

    June 14, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Netanyahu rebuffs Obama......

    Netanyahu refused today, to stop the normal growth of Israeli settlements in direct opposition to what Obama demanded....

    At the same time, Iranians rebuffed Obama by electing Ahmadinejad in a landslide....

    And N. Korea said it will continue to expand its nuke program and weaponize its plutonium.

    Can Obama do anything right besides giving meaningless speeches?

    June 14, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Lynn

    Boy, this blog sure contains all the Repiublican talking points in one "last Word" from John King's biased Republican show. I am sure King did not question one thing that Pence said nor ask him to elaborate on his statements.

    Haven't the Republicans learned to keep their noses out of other countries' business.

    June 14, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Natasha in tally

    And If he had the Repulicans would have been all over his case. You can't win with these people.

    June 14, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Seattle Sue

    And the Republican response to Iran worked so well for the eight years Bush was in control, right.

    June 14, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. republicans hate america

    The ast time America tried to meddle into Iranian affairs it lead to this islamic revolution that still endures. for once lets keep our dirty hands out let the people of iran figure this out.

    June 14, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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