With growing speculation over his presidential ambitions, Indiana Republican Mike Pence is taking the anti-Obama rhetoric into high-gear. Pence is the winner of the Family Research Council’s 2010 Values Voter Summit straw poll, and is seen as a favorite of the Religious Right. By stepping down from his position as House GOP Conference Chair because he couldn’t commit to serving a full term, Pence signaled that he could potentially run for governor of Indiana or President. In an interview with US News & World Report, Pence rejects the social issues “truce” proposed by Indiana’s governor, defends the prominent role of social conservatives in the Republican Party, and maintains that Obama wants Americans “simply to obey” like a dog:
You’re about to start hearing a lot about a conservative Republican Indiana congressman, Rep. Mike Pence. That’s because the Hoosier, considered a shoo-in to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2012, is weighing a challenge to outgoing Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and about 10 others in the Republican presidential primaries. “We’ve gotten encouragement to run for governor in 2012,” says Pence, a former broadcaster. “We’ve also gotten more than a little bit of encouragement to consider running for president.”
While Pence will decide in the spring, the presidency currently has his attention. Not just because he thinks President Obama is stretching the traditional boundaries of the office and isn’t worthy. “The current administration is the most egregious example of excess,” he says, accusing Obama of treating the nation like “a dog whose duty is not to ask why …but simply to obey.” As he considers a run, Pence also has become a student of the presidency and recently delivered thoughtful speeches on the office.
But he sees Ronald Reagan as “the last president in my lifetime to really model a traditional American presidency.”
While some may say Daniels is the better-positioned Hoosier for 2012, the social and fiscal conservative Pence senses an advantage. He won’t go along with Daniels’s push for a truce on social issues to let candidates focus on economic topics. “To those who say we should simply focus on fiscal issues,” Pence says, “I say you would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family collapses.”