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. Aspen Professor

    Geeee ... I am surprised that good ole Repub Mike Spence of Indiana did not call for an immediate bombing and invasion of Iran! He will be losing points from the right-wing extremists in the GOP.

    Whether the bombs fall on the protestors in Iran or not wil not be a concern of the folks like Cheney, Rush, Rove, Hannity, O'Reilly, Coulter and the other fools.

    June 14, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. JonDie

    First, Mr. Pence, our president should stick with what it possible and not merely speak because he thinks he's the president of the United States and is, therefore, some sort of moral leader. NOTHING that Obama could say would advance the cause of change in Iran.

    But second and more importantly, Mr. Pence, why not start with the Mideastern countries that are much, much less democratic than Iran, e.g., Libya, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia?

    Oh, that's right, we in the US only promote democracy in countries we don't like; if a particular country supports us, we support their brutal dictators wholeheartedly.

    June 14, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Ken in NC

    When President Obama speaks, Republicans want him to shut up but when Republicans want to hear the war drums beating they want him to speak up and beat the drums without knowing all the facts. The late Gov. of Texas spoke of former President Bush by saying "POOR POOR GEARGE. HE WAS BORN WITH A SILVER FOOT IN HIS MOUTH". If she was alive today I think she would be speaking those words to the Republican party. They are the party of war and aggitation.

    June 14, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Tomas E

    Translation for republican response – let's nuke em! You know shoot first, then figure out why we did something later.

    June 14, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Michael

    Pence is right. Obama is a weak man, an empty suit. He is the very epitome of "The Candidate." He has proven that he cannot deal with foreign or domestic crises. 2012 can't come quickly enough.

    June 14, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Aspen Professor

    Watch it Josh. You will upset the Repubs that want us to build democracies around the world. Of course they may object a trifle if other countries decided to interfere in our own country.

    June 14, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Champly

    Mr. Obama is a street wise Chicago thug. He will keep his mouth shut in most instances. But the proof is in the proverbial pudding. His intentional acts of destroying the economy, our health care system, our manufacturing base, and the state of Israel if evidence enough. He doesn't have to say anything, he just does it with the help of the other Marxist he has surrounded himself with at the core of the administration.

    June 14, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Champly

    America has not been attacked in eight years. If we are attacked now it will be because Barack Hussien Obama has willed it.

    June 14, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Arkansan

    Pence is one of the classic, corrupt, politicians in American history. I cannot for the life of me understand how politicians like Pence can continue to go before the people of this country lying as they do. Pence is a Republican Congressman from Indiana. As a congressman, he enjoys the very best health care program in the nation, a health care program paid for by the federal government out of taxpayers pockets. Now, he stands before us telling us how bad a federally funded national health care program is and why such a program will bankrupt private industry. Yet, we hear that the many large corporations as well as small businesses want the federal government to take over health care because the cost of private programs is bankrupting the business community. Mr. Pence, is it any wonder the people of this country think you and your Republican colleagues really do fit the dictionary definition of rascals?

    June 14, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. JR

    It is interesting how Republicans complain about unfair competition regarding the U.S. Government entering into the U.S. health care market. First, the U.S. Government created private health care markets through Medicare and Medicaid HMO products. Second, where are these Republicans when it came to unfair private market competition and lax antitrust policies under the Bush administration? Unfair competition did not seem to matter then; did it?

    June 14, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Cheneymyhiney

    why are they telling the president what to do. The American issue is more important than this. Since they accumulate enemy for the American people, why don't they speak up since they are not doing their job for they were elected for. The president has more important issue that concerns the AMERICAN PEOPLE There's more problem here. Than watching the election result in Iran. Amadinajab has been trhe president even during the time of the Bushco, he's harmless.

    June 14, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. Byron in Minneapolis

    I absolutely disagree. This needs to be Iran's fight. If we step in NOW, just as the Iranians are starting to rise up against the Mullah's, they can again say "Look, the West wants the Reform, it must be a trap!"
    Let the Iranians fight their own internal battles.

    June 14, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. Wingnuttia-Free Zone

    GOP = Goofs on Parade

    June 14, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Terry of Texas

    Pence is simply emitting more Conservospeak. Pence does not recommend this strategy because it's the best thing for the nation or the president, but because it will enable him to later get headlines by saying, "You see, Obama doesn't have the nerve. He's soft on Communis ... er, Terrorism."

    What does Pence recommend Obama say about the Communist Chinese leadership and their elections? Nothing because his corporate contributors are making big money doing business with the Chinese.

    We need to get rid of Conservatism once and for all.

    June 14, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  15. Steven

    Don’t do or say whatever the republicans demand Mr. President. Their advice and actions for decades have let the United States into utter ruin. As we all know their leader Rush Limbaugh wants you to fail. You are doing an excellent job Mr. President. Keep up the good work.

    June 14, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. Doug, Atlanta

    Obama won't speak up his teleprompter is not programmed yet.
    Obama is weak and the weak will not speak up against bullies.

    June 14, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Cheneymyhiney

    Champly June 14th, 2009 5:44 pm ET

    America has not been attacked in eight years. If we are attacked now it will be because Barack Hussien Obama has willed it.

    What are you suffering dementia? 9-11 happens during the Bush years. He ignored the warning beforehand. Get you facts straight.

    June 14, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. My brain got baked in Phoenix

    Pence has been sniffing the poisoned corn too long.Another talking clueless rightwing radical.

    June 14, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. Afinbro in Houston

    There is no need to say anything at this point period. It will not do anything but fuel the tension and increasingly strain the relationships further between countries. Now this is something that the Republicans want him to do, ( a semblence of G.W. Bush) the cowboy, which ruin Middle East relationships badly. Secondly, who is this Pence think he is anyway, who has no right more like (unpatriotic) to challange the US President to make a foolish statement like that at this time. "Going from the Gut" days are over Republicans, so get used to it. The puppet days are over, we had eight years of this and there were a lot of unintelligent decisions were put forth and look where it got us.

    June 14, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. giniajim

    The Congressman has the right spirit, but care is required. "Speaking out" for dissidents has the unfortunate result of sometimes getting them killed. We need to support *reform* in Iran. I'd be very leery of taking sides. I thought Obama was choosing his words very carefully and deliberately in his comments, as has Biden.

    June 14, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. jimmadison

    The first thing the GOP has an actual position on since January is picking sides in another country's election controversy before we know for sure what has really happened there. Ready, Fire, Aim. Bush would be proud.

    As for health care reform, their answer is the usual 'No' to anything that would actually reform the health care system.

    June 14, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. Jarvaris

    I would love to see the faces on some of you when his polices are working and working well. I want to be that fly on the wall.

    June 14, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  23. New Day

    hehehe I guess the new ditto head line is "empty suit." Oh well, the puppeteer needs its puppets.

    To the point, if President Obama does, Republicans will come out and slam him for having done it.

    I think the wise thing to do is to wait and get the facts. After all, we have learned Bush's lesson on charging in half-cocked all too well, have we not?

    June 14, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Champly

    Hey...I am with all of the Obamots here. Free health care for everyone. Free, Free, Free. And lets have free food. I want those $100 steaks the Obama's serve at the White House from time to time. I want one every day. And MIchelle Obama has the neatest shows, costing $350 or so. I need a pair to lift my self esteem. Lord knows what a falling level of self esteem will cost in mental health benefit from my government health plan. Probably thousands of dollars. And I want you Obamots to pay for it. Every last dime.

    June 14, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. Charlie in Maine

    Let's just take a deep breath and be impressed with Iran for holding an election that is at least as "free and fair" as Florida 2000.

    I am glad to see that there was na opposition in Iran. If Im-a-nut job doesn't watch it that opposition will grow.

    Democracy like water to the sea will eventually find a way.

    June 14, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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