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. David

    If Pence spoke sincerely, then these comments paint him as a one-step thinker when it comes to foreign affairs. Does he really believe that overt US support in the form of presidential backing would be /beneficial/ to Mousavi? Right now, Mousavi is petitioning the Iranian clerics and jurists to have the election's results nullified. The chances are slim that they will do so, but they become far slimmer if it appears, in the slightest, that Mousavi would be indebted to the US for that decision. The best way to help Mousavi, is to take the course that the President currently seems to be on, and that is not to issue an official statement on their behalf.

    All of that said, I doubt Pence was sincere in his statement. More than likely, this is an opportunity to politically attack the President on an issue that might be subtle enough to stick.

    June 14, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Robin

    The US needs to stay out of the events of Iran. This is an internal affair. It's family business. It would taint the events if it were percieved that there were American interests behind the scenes trying to pull the strings.

    We should sit this one out until things have calmed down

    June 14, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. Thi


    Mr. Obama keeps trying to get the high polls and that is his only purpose. He never concerns about anything else but the public polls. So please do not waste time to tell him anything good for the U.S. or Americans or the world. Trust me, he will wait to see how the public opinions are and then will say something to make people like it, that is all. Mr. Obama does not have his own principle, does not have any personal character, does not have his own opinion on anything. People can see it quite clear now.

    June 14, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. fred

    Shows how out of touch Pence is. A statement like he suggest plays into Ahmadinejads accusations of outside meddleing. I would not be at all surprised that Obama has made his feelings known and that message has made it's way to Moussavi. All Pence is doing, is trying to do is advance Republican talking points. Note his comment of "this administration’s olive branch-and-apology approach". Which I did not hear an appology, but an offer to Iran of a differant way to being a partener in the Middle East. A message i think the people heard, and are responding too.

    June 14, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Seattle Sue

    Pence is about as believable as Cantor, Boehner, 0r McConnell.

    June 14, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Anthony ---New Hope PA

    What a false argument-- that public health insurance would unfairly compete with Private Insurance.

    Proof is in reality-–the Postal service has not put FedEx or UPS out of business.

    June 14, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. David Jones

    What a great idea. Let's get involved in another country's politics before we know the facts. Let's tell them what to do even if we have no game plan or exit strategy. Can kind of see how the GOP got us into Iraq or now advocates the bombing of North Korea.

    June 14, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Pat-Indianapolis

    Kudos to Pence. This was a blatantly rigged election and it needs to be addressed at a worldwide stage. Although I did not vote for Obama, he is the President of the United States and the most influental man in the world right now. We need to make a stand and let other nations know that this can not be tolerated.

    June 14, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. gl, Pittsburgh

    As far as I am consider the Republicans are irrelavent because they have showed the American People that they have not plan other than to cricize the Presdient for the next 4 years. We do not care what you have to say and more. We have move on and 2010 we the people of the American will speak loud and care again. You Republicans still can not figure out why you lost the 2008 election yet. American people are really tried of all this negative coming day in and day out for you Republicans.

    June 14, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. MikeH

    Pence is a hack who has no competency to issue advice on any subject. He is a right-wing idealogue who supported the deregulation of the banking industry, restriction on financial institution oversite, and rubber-stamped the Iraq war.

    That CNN's King would give Pence a platform to spew Republican bovine scat is no surprise, CNN's owners are part of the cabal that is destroying America in favor of corporate profit.

    June 14, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. David Jones

    Then there is the debt created by Pence and Bush over the past 8 years as pointed out by the NY Times last week. They had 8 years, did nothing, and now blast Obama for not stepping up to the plate when they did not. Agree or disagree, but Obama at least identifies funding sources for health care, climate change and education.

    June 14, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. gl, Pittsburgh

    As far as health care, it is time Private Health Care system have some completions. The Private sector health care plan have suck the life from most of us American people. TIME FOR CHANGE!

    June 14, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. jim/redondo beach

    ...with all due respect to Mike Pence (mike pence?)...what does a representative of 90,000 Republicans in rural Indiana know about anything outside of Crawfordsville?...christ...spare me from the know-nothings...

    June 14, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Rana

    Obama listen to him please

    June 14, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Lonnie Mask

    And what would Mr. Pence say if countries like Iran or even England would have come out in support of Al Gore in the 2000 election here? What could the US do? Are we looking to recreate Venezuela? There's not much that can be done right now but let the process sort itself out.

    June 14, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. mmg

    Obama will not come forward with any answers!!!! just more spending and apologizing... How is that working out for you Obama???

    June 14, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. katiec

    Am so sick of these hot air politicians doing and saying anything they can to get in front of the camera and getting the headlines.
    Am even more sick of the media constantly catering to them as if
    their actions are anything of substance.
    They are all such hypocrits.

    June 14, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. KW2008

    Why ? to come accross as though we are meddling in their internal affairs and give the current dictator leverage to use the "Iran against the world " excuse. Would you want Ahmadinejad to weigh in on one of our election results ? Why do we as Americans feel we have to involve ourselves with other countries problems. Last I heard, we had quite a few of our own. Stop the petty distractions. Focus on Innovations – America has done it and can do it again. But first we need to AMERICA priority #1 then let the rest of the world be the rest of the world.

    June 14, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Squigman

    Pence, should stick to domestic issues. Leave the international issues to the elected or appointed people, who have this as their job of choice, or at least job they were trained for. The world may run a little smoother, with fewer problems if this policy were implimented.

    June 14, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. BIGG PLAY 84

    These Repub's need to shut up. They think that they are better and smarter than everybody else but won't admit that they are the ones that got us into this mess. I wish that they and their supporters would just shut up because when thay talk nothing comes out but hot hot air.

    Vote them Repub's out.

    June 14, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Marco Matute

    Pence: Not Pensive!
    Not everyone who has a mouth is meant to speak and not everyone who speaks is meant to lead, Mr.
    Pence. For decades, we have silently lived with a health care system which has aligned the pockets of investors, pharmaceutical executives and their related businesses with trillions of dollars as health care premiums and expenses continually increased for the average patient/client.
    The doctor-patient relationship is not being jeopardized but merely being tested to allow options for payment security for both parties. Our Government needs to stay the course and level the playing field somewhat within some of the basic services such as medical treatment and medicine.
    Most pharmaceutical companies began shifting their business model to welcome change almost a year ago. This is not something new.
    This is not rational thinking Mr. Pensiveless Pence!

    June 14, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. joe m

    Sounds like a good idea, but it is more likely to make things worse. Iranian leadership already feel themselves backed to th wall. Iranian are the answer. They need to claim what they gave up nearly 20 yrs ago, their freedom.

    June 14, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. andrewstl

    mike i think we hve had all the gop advice and ideas for the last yrs. thanks but no thanks. put amizzle on sarah and u might get my respect.

    June 14, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Repuke

    Hey Mr. Pense,
    Government can provide healthcare for less than private secore can. So suck on that twit.
    Now that you have described the Healthcare insurance industry as a duck, it is high time to waddle the hell out of Dodge and let people NOT have some foreign telephone answerer dictate to them what test or procedure they can or cannot have. Putting non-americans in between my and my doctor. The healthcare industry needs to be KILLED. The profits they have been excising from the provisioning of healthcare has been astronoimcal and disgustingly huge.
    The ride is over buckeroos.

    June 14, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. GOP = 21st century dodo

    A Republican giving anyone advice on

    -the economy
    -the environment
    -civil liberties

    is like a morbidly obese person offering diet tips.

    June 14, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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