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. lynn in NM

    Obama speak up? Give me a break. His Secretary of State has already said there are more important things in the world than human rights.

    June 14, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Lori reminds the GOP that housing foreclosures & job losses are down, and the Dems have a 19pt favorable advantage over the GOP!

    I'll trust my President's judgment on this. Pence stick to being in the minority and let President Obama handle the situation in Iran. Haven't you Republicans caused enough mess in the Middle East already? Sheesh.

    June 14, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. johnrj08

    This is a planted RNC comment. It insinuates that if Obama says nothing about the Iranian election that he is tacitly approving its results. The last thing this country needs to do is give the appearance that it is trying to meddle in the affairs of another country, especially one in the Mideast. If Mr. Pence has any evidence at all that there was fraud in that election, then he's the one who needs to speak up. Otherwise, he needs to shut up. Not many Americans like Mr. Ahmadinejad, but that does not automatically translate to voter fraud. Ahmadinejad had significant support in the rural areas of the country, just as voters in the rural areas of the U.S. are routinely more conservative. My guess is that Mr. Pence has zero information about this election and that he was told by the RNC to throw out this useless comment.

    June 14, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Cal

    Obama ain't no W. He's a coward and doesn't believe in life, liberty, and pursuit if happiness. He supports terrorists. He believes the US is the terrorist nation, and thanks to him that's the truth.

    June 14, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Sarah

    Obama is NOT the leader of Iran, nor is he the leader of North Korea.
    These nations will figure it out on their own, or should I say, the people of these nations will correct their own sinking ships.

    June 14, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. hozo2006

    yeah that bully strategy has really been working for us Senator ... why don't you leave Obama alone and let him pursue an intelligent strategy .... i-n-t-e-l-l-i-g-e-n-t s-t-r-a-t-e-g-y ... there I know you are a Repugnant so i spelled it out for you ... that other cowboy approach has got 3000 AMERICANS killed for nothing and a lot of your friends are richer for it ... what a moron

    June 14, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. pwal

    Reckless showboating, Rep. Pence. Lives are at stake.

    June 14, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Hey Pence, are you blind or just stupid?

    Ahmadinejad won in a lanslide and Obama's Egyptian speech has been totally rebuffed by Iranians....

    Obama has also been rebuffed by N. Korea as they continue to build nukes that will someday reach Los Angeles.....

    And finally, Netanyahu has rebuffed Obama by saying they will continue to build housing on the West Bank......

    It was a bad weekend for Obama--his answer will be to give another useless speech.

    June 14, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Dante

    Obama is a socialist, which leads to totalitarianism. Read. Read 'The Road to Serfdom.' So why would he criticize his buddies like the soon-to-be dictator Chavez or any other one doing a power grab like himself?

    June 14, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Georgia Peach

    If the private sector can't compete with the Government's public option, than let them fail!

    Afterall, that was the solution the GOP gave Democrats against bailing out the auto industry that couldn't compete against foreign automakers.

    June 14, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. democrat no mas

    I really don't know Rep. Pence and what his positions have been in the past, but this article is pretty much on the money. President Obama, stop being apologetic for who America is, look Iran and North Korea in the eye, and tell them that either we work together or we will work you over. As far as government run healthcare goes, we need to understand that too much government is a big part of the problem. And the man is right on excessive spending. We can't improve on the previous administration's errors by making bigger errors. This isn't a basketball game, sir. This is the big time, and you need to stand up and lead.

    June 14, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. David

    Actually our president needs to stay out of this election situation until the Iranian people decide who their leader is.

    We have a similar issue happening here in the US with the Franken vs Coleman election. I wouldn't think Pence would want our President to speak out in favor of Franken to the people of his state, and not let the state and courts resolve the election dispute.

    And the Pence's idea of 'rationing' healthcare is just not true. We know that the focus of the public option is best practices that deliver the highest level of success for the patient. Unlike the current process which is for doctors and hospitals to offer the most services at the highest price for the most profit possible, regardless of the health outcome of the patient.

    We know that the republicans are only focused on protecting the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies that support them financially.

    June 14, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. Andy

    No, the President should not support the progressive candidate. It further risks future relations with the country should that candidate not win, which he probably will not, even if foul play was involved. It is not our election and not our country, no matter how much we want the results to go our way.

    Republicans should probably stop misconstruing statements of truth for apologies.

    June 14, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Sam Shaw

    You'd think Pence would figure out that every time he opens his mouth he just reinforces his image as the stupidest person in Congress (a distinction with lots of contestants).

    June 14, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. some guy in New Hampshire

    The Republican right wing consistently states that Obama has "apologized" to US enemies. Someone please post the quote or quotes from Obama's statements that contain these apologies. To whom, and in what context, has he said, "The United States apologizes to you for..."
    I'm not defying anyone to do this; I simply want to know if these claims that Obama has apologized are statements of fact or if it's just another attempt by ideologues to twist facts. Thanks for any light that anyone can shed.

    June 14, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Indiana Native

    Ouch, that made me wince. Just to clarify, a person from Indiana is not an "Indianan." We're "Hoosiers." The sentence should more appropriately read "Hoosier Republican Rep. Mike Pence." I've never heard a single Hoosier refer to themselves as an "Indianan."

    June 14, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Xavier

    A republican talking about improving healthcare for those not rich in America is about as sincere as Chenney's re-telling of why we went to Iraq.

    June 14, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Right now we don't know how the situation in Iran is going to play out, I think the Administration's cautious response has been appropriate so far. As for Health-care there really needs to a public option, however I don't think it will happen as centrist Dems and Republicans are opposed to this option.

    June 14, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Michelle G.

    What Iran truly needs is a SECULAR state. The religious leaders in the past 30 years have only manipulated Islam to justify their wrongful actions. RELIGION IS WORKING AGAINST US. It is keeping women veiled and chained to the degrading way of life that they have been forced accept. Let's escape from this regime. Within the last thirty years, the United States’ relations and foreign policies with Iran transformed from well-developed diplomacy and support to complete opposition.

    We need Iran to be the secular, thriving country it once was under Shah Pahlavi.

    A country that had built strong ties and relationships with the U.S. and other countries. We keep forgetting that the current Iran wasn't always like this.

    Let's bring back Reza Pahlavi!

    June 14, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. jc

    if the private sector is really for helping us with affordable healthcare why are the so upset about the prospect of a private healthcare program? if they know they're being fair with the american people they don't have anything to worry about. The truth is they KNOW they are not being fair with us! The only thing that rules the healthcare industry is greed! All these repubs saying let the private sector work it out. The only problem with that? They've had YEARS to "work it out" and they did NOTHING! Now they're scared they will lose their LARGE profits at the expense of the american people. It all goes back to greed. Shame on you repubs that feel PROFIT is more important than affordable healthcare!

    June 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Raymond Burgoon-Clark

    Uh huh.

    1. "Sound" foreign policy. Engage Iran by challenging their elected president (legitimate or not) ... that'd do a LOT to open up relations with Tehran.

    2. Health insurance companies need to go out of business; and CONGRESS needs to BE on whatever single-payer plan they come up with.

    June 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Larry S

    BO does not not have the will-power to speak up on this issue. Also, his speech-writers have the weekend off and he needs to wait for the operator of the teleprompter.

    June 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Axis of Evil

    Sad to say, but my fellow Hoosier hasn't a clue. What is needed is a firm diplomatic effort out of the public spotlight. Pence forgets the "Axis of Evil" and all the rest of the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bush rantings that not onlly achieved nothing, but put a goodly portion of the Muslim word looking for a fight.

    Certainly our goal should be the resumption of diplomatic relations with an Iran that respects human rights and freedom of assembly. To loudly chastise Iran in public would be counterproductive to say the least.. Do we ever learn anything?

    Find a trusted diplomat who is fluent in Farsi and have at it.

    June 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Mike in Rockville

    Perhaps, Mr. Pence, we could keep our American nose out of the internal affiars of Iran. Just as we would have expected other nations to keep their noses out of our Election 2000 fiasco.

    June 14, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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