2016 watch: Gov. Mike Pence stays quiet on potential White House run
April 27th, 2014
11:58 AM ET
9 years ago

2016 watch: Gov. Mike Pence stays quiet on potential White House run

(CNN) - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence continued to duck questions Sunday on whether he would launch a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

"My focus is entirely on the future of the people of Indiana. We'll let my future take care of itself," he said on "Fox News Sunday” when asked about his plans.

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Pence, who spent 12 years as a member of Congress before being elected governor in 2012, considered running for the White House in 2012 but ultimately decided against it. He’s now one of a group of Republicans whose names pop up on lists of potential 2016 candidates.

"Let me be honest with you, I'm always humbled and flattered anytime I'm mentioned for the highest office in the land. But I honestly think much of that talk is the progress the people of Indiana have been making," he said.

Though Pence has dodged the 2016 question, in a speech Friday he sounded like someone campaigning for higher office. Addressing huge crowds of conservatives who flocked to the Hoosier capital for the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, Pence touted in broad strokes his state's achievements in fighting for liberty.

"Nowhere is that ongoing struggle for freedom more visible than the battle over the Second Amendment," he said at the meeting. "Firearms in the arms of hands of law-abiding citizens - they don't cause crime, they help fight crime."

Related: NRA cites eroding freedoms, warns of Hillary candidacy

Speaking to the anti-big government crowd, the GOP governor said Friday the longer he serves as a lawmaker, the more "I'm convinced change will come from the state capital."

That's a refrain Pence echoed in his interview on Sunday, and one that a few other Republican governors considering a bid in 2016, like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, have used when asked about their presidential aspirations.

Pence is considered a dark horse for the 2016 presidential race, but has not ruled out a run. He is slated to speak to the GOP conventions in Wisconsin and Alabama in May and June, respectively.

Asked by host Chris Wallace about the meaning behind those speaking engagements, Pence again avoided talking about any plans for 2016.

"The character and caliber of leadership that's producing real results, and the time that I can spare away from focusing here in Indiana, electing and re-electing Republican governors," he said. "I really do believe the cure for what ails this country is going to come more from our nation's state capitals than it ever will from our nation's capital."

Related: The “Inside Politics” Forecast: Conservative Democrats run to the left on Social Security

Filed under: 2016 • Indiana • Mike Pence • NRA
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. rs

    Mr. pence might play very well with the GOP base. He won't win any national elections, and his knee-jerk right-wing radicalism won't go well with most Americans.

    Mr. Paul is right- the GOP needs numbers to win. Not number by denying people the right to vote- but real-live voters: minorities, women, the young, the poor. They have nothing for those populations but hate, anger and discrimination. Mr. Pence would be better off (IF he's interested) in crafting a platform for them than demonstrating his allegiance to the 4 million radicalized NRA member he was speaking to.

    April 27, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Stuffitu

    I wonder if those Republican congressmen in trouble with ethics violations will do the honorable thing or do what the democrat liberals and Congrssional Black Caucus. Members do.

    April 27, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. The right wing have lost their damned minds

    Another one that will never be president...

    April 27, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    --this guy? Out of question. Go away corn cob.

    April 27, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Wes

    In his favor, Mr. Pence of Indiana has more experience than Senators Cruz, Rubio, and Paul combined.

    April 27, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Chris-E...al

    @rs You are sick to think your statements above are true . You must have been looking in a mirror admiring your self and watching old reruns of 0bama speeches . P.S. grow up and get your facts strait and stop lying to you its not healthy . .

    April 27, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Stuffitu: "I wonder if those Republican congressmen in trouble with ethics violations will do the honorable thing or do what the democrat liberals and Congrssional Black Caucus. Members do."

    No need to wonder: The repubs will say they feel bad for letting folks down, tell us they've had a chat with God and everything is okey-dokey and then stay in office. And the rubes in their base would bobble-head up and down and continue opening their wallets for the low-lifes.

    While not perfect, Democrats have a MUCH better track record of taking responsibility for their actions.

    April 27, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. yerkiddinright

    Always room for another clown in the car.

    April 27, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    -yes, ACA IS A LAW. Saving millions. So, his speech on Obamacare is wrong, on infrastructure wrong, energy independence is wrong? Check your brain if any.

    April 27, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Hector Slagg

    Knee-jerk right wing-radicalisim? What the hell is that? Fiscal Responsibility? Paying your own way? Wash your mouth out with soap. Stop saying those dirty words.

    April 27, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    Wow, his name is Pence. I always thought he was the guy from the tv series "The Naked Gun". Looks and acts just like him.

    April 27, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Good Luck with That Idea , Next !

    There is only one GOP , Republican candidate who has the True Grit and Wearwithall to stand for justice and the American Way to Unimaginable Freedom .

    That Person is Louis Buller "Louie" Gohmert .

    April 27, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. J Anthony

    @Chis E: not true? Name one thing the Republican party has done for anyone. Are Dems any better? No. They have become equally incompetent in the face of current challenges. But the right-wing establishment has written off half the country and have absolutely zero to offer in the way of viable solutions or easing the suffering of those who have suffered and struggled the most. You're willfully blind

    April 27, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. don in albuquerque

    Hector Slagg

    If you think the right wing is fiscally responsible take a look a Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2.

    April 27, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Hooper

    To me he looks like he could be Barbara Bush's grandfather.

    April 27, 2014 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |