The following a letter Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) sent Monday to members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the 107-member conservative caucus that he leads.
Dear RSC Colleague:
With the advent of elections in the Republican Conference, I wanted to write to clarify my intentions and to explain the role that I believe the Republican Study Committee should play in the upcoming debate.
First, as to my intentions, despite the fact that I have repeated for months that I had “no intention of seeking any leadership position,” there have been numerous media reports mentioning me as a possible candidate for leadership.
Because some of you have encouraged me to consider seeking a leadership position, Karen and I endeavored to give the matter the kind of prayerful consideration that such encouragement merits. I am writing to confirm that I will not be seeking any elected position in the Republican Conference at this time.
While I will always aspire to be available to serve my country when called, I believe I can do more good for the conservative movement by focusing my energies within the RSC. Those of you who know me well know that my passion is to look after my young family and serve the cause I was elected to advance: limited government, a strong defense and traditional moral values. There my focus will remain.
Second, as to our role, while I will not be a candidate, I believe the Republican Study Committee has a central role to play in the coming weeks. Rather than facilitating an unnecessarily divisive election for leadership, the Republican Study Committee should assist our members in selecting our new leadership and developing an agenda for the fiscal and moral reform our nation awaits from this majority.
By remaining focused on the role of the RSC, we will be better able to ensure that House conservatives play a decisive role in selecting our new leaders and setting the new agenda. To this end, RSC will be providing each of you with talking points from our 2005 RSC Agenda and inviting each of the candidates to address the upcoming Conservative Member Retreat in Baltimore (Jan 30-31), to take questions from our members in the days immediately preceding the leadership elections. I hope you will be able to attend.
These are times of great challenge and great opportunity for our Republican Majority. To see our way through, we must “be strong, courageous and do the work” for which the American people minted this Republican Congress. Thanks again to those who expressed words of support and encouragement in the past several weeks. It is one of the greatest honors of my life to lead the men and women of the Republican Study Committee.
May God, Himself, bless you with wisdom as you discern the right leaders and the right agenda for our nation in the coming weeks.
Republican Study Committee