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. Hot Chick

    Here we go again...sticking your nose into another nation's polictics...Take your pence and go away...

    June 14, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Sean

    although the gesture would be seens favorably by americans I'm not sure if that would help Moussavi's cause. I think Obama should use his power within the U.N to make a more broad statement from the international community that the Iranians will see as a world wide show of support for Moussavi rather than from just the U.S, whom lets be honest they dont trust.

    June 14, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. P.J.

    This from someone who enjoys a government-funded plan - not to mention the financial support of the private health insurance industry. Rationing treatments? Private insurers already do that. Put private insurance companies out of business? How could that be if a public option is as terrible as Pence and his pals tell us it will be? The scare tactics worked once. Now they're just silly and a little sad.

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

    Sure, let's give empty encouragement to the Iranian dissidents, just as we did to those in Hungary in the 50s, the Chinese in Tiananmen Square and the Georgians in the recent upheaval in that country. Let us convince a few more poor souls to throw their lives away to bolster our foreign policy objectives.

    June 14, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Paul

    Pence's language shows that he is just trying to create even more opposition between the GOP and Obama. This is the reason our level-headed president is president and an irrational partisan stooge like Pence is not.

    June 14, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    It's a good thing Pence isn't in foreign relations. ANYONE with any sense knows better than to butt into another countries' election results – Especially now.

    I think if or when our PRESIDENT says something, it will be better thought out than what Pence belched out.

    June 14, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Peter

    Typical of Pence: Hey, Mike... Should we just dismiss the fact that the great promoter of democracy, the Great and Wonderful U.S.A. overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in the early 1950s? Or facilitated the democratically elected government of Chile and put in that dictator and strongman Pinochet? Or will you make some mealy-mouth excuse that "That was a long time ago" or "Those were special circumstances."

    Is your parochialism and political blindness so bad that you can't conceive of the possibility that people in other parts of the world see the U.S.A. in a different light and yearn for some real openness and honesty?

    June 14, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Charlie in Maine

    Me too I so hate it when people steal elections BTW when did the GOP come out against that? "the times they are a changin"

    June 14, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Andrew in STL

    Yeah...that's a great idea, because meddling in the political affairs of Iran has worked out so well for us in the past!
    While many of us would like for Obama to be publicly supportive of the Iranian people who were so obviously cheated out of a fair election, I think the wisest strategy for the time being would be to sit back and wait to see what happens, because worsening our ties with Iran's current regime, if they end up holding onto power, is not going to do anyone any favors in the long run, least of all the Iranian people.
    What we as the public can do, and as responsible citizens of the world, is let the Iranian regime know that we aren't going to stand for this type of crap and that there is no seat at the table for a country that so blatantly twists election results to fit their needs.

    June 14, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. sara-fl

    It's called payback buddy, you guys have had the socialized heath benefits cost by our tax dollars, and now you worried the private health companies won't have a competition! Your party is so pathetically wrong in every issue so far, no real set proposals just hot air. I believe it's now americans get health benefits, what should we do wait til you decide its time. When? when we have another break down in our economy and then were in a bigger mess.

    June 14, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Lance

    Pence said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “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 is an idiot, if the Bush administration hadn't screwed up our foreign policies as much as they did for the past 8 years we wouldn't need olive branches or apologies. It is truly amazing how the Republicans did nothing to move the needle with foreign policy and then criticize those that are trying to make a difference. Rep. Pence, go back to the cave you crawled out of.

    June 14, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. SoSaysSam

    President Palin would have missals on the way to Iraq already... I can almost hear her now... "What do you mean it's not the same country, close enough, besides, I gave you an order, I expect obedience!!"

    June 14, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    What Pence should say is that they, the GOP, want Obama to say something which they can come back and pin on him later. Isn't that right Rep. Opportunist?!

    June 14, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Stacy

    The United States should not do as Pence states. It was not that long ago the U.S. had a questionable election. We did not want the Iranians getting involved with those still questionable results. Pence needs to keep his mouth shut and let Obama take care of business in his way.

    June 14, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Damien

    Speaking out would NOT help. Such advice is beyond amateurish – but I'm sure it sounds good to the 20% of the American population that always thinks the GOP is right.

    June 14, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Donkey Party

    No new ideas from the hate spewing right, just unabashed criticism toward a President that they don't want to succeed, under any circumstances. For RepubliCONS, it's not about the people, it's about the power. They can care less about mainstream America. And slamming President Obama in one sentence for reaching out to the Iranians and the Muslim world, then suggest he open a dialogue with Moussavi is just the typical type of hypocrisy that the right is notorious for. Mr. Pence and the rest of his right-wing ilk are nothing but a cancer to society.

    June 14, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Kuratali

    Another idiot republican demonstrating his cowboy mentality. What Pence does not understand is that Obama through words and actions has already demonstrated the proper approach. The reformists in Iran understand clearly that when Obama speaks of dialog with Iran, he speaks of the country and its people, not just one person. Clearly the right people in the middle east are embracing this an attempting change. Under the former administration and republicans like Pence those people, reformists or otherwise, had no faith in America to be any kind of friend. Mr. Pence and others of his inclination will continue to see more and more things change for the better.

    June 14, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. mandennis

    "... alligator competes with a duck?" poor, poor insurance industry. Pence would like everyone to believe that the same insurance industry (for many decades) that raises your premiums, imposes many restrictions, less coverage is not ready for competition even among itself. here's metaphor. let's give the insurance industry what they want. something like letting the wolf guard the sheep.

    June 14, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Pragmatic

    ... and how does he feel about Mr. Moussavi and for the dissidents and the reformers within Iran commenting on our elections?

    If insurance companies respected that doctor-patient relationship, then the government wouldn't feel it had to step in. We already have rationed health care: If you are uninsured, or the doctor chooses not to accept your health care provider ... you get no care. The emergency room is not the answer!

    Just try to get insurance with a pre-existing condition: The insurance company's bottom line is profit – not your health... and they really don't care if you live or die.

    June 14, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Donkey Party

    It's pretty apparent that Pence is in the pocket of the insurance compamies. His suggestion that we "strengthen" them shows how much the right cares about the people. The GOP is moving at light-speed toward irrelevancy, GOD willing.

    June 14, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Here, as in Minnesota, the loser ties the election up in court for years....do the Republicans have " empathy " for the loser???

    June 14, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Chris W

    Nice work Mr. Pence. You are a rising star in the Republican Party and for the conservative movement.

    June 14, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Mike TX

    Government-run healthcare (which is exactly where Obama is going) will be a disaster. I feel for the 50 million who don't have insurance, but it's time they take care of themselves and not rely on the government (i.e., taxpayers) to do it. All entitlement programs do is punish the taxpayers and make the recipients lazy.

    June 14, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Emily in Michigan

    Oh Pence. Are you running for president in 2012 too?

    June 14, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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