Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.), the HUMAN EVENTS Man of the Year, delivered the best speech at CPAC. We were fortunate enough to have Pence join us afterward for a special HUMAN EVENTS discussion at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
Pence spoke to about 40 die-hard activists and conservative bloggers at CPAC. He received a standing ovation upon entering the room and took time out of his morning schedule to answer all the questions that were posed to him.
Among the highlights:
On Reform of the United Nations: Carroll Andrew Morse of the blog Anchor Rising asked Pence the likelihood of immigration reform. Pence said he remains intent to see his UN reform bill, co-sponsored by International Relations Chairman Henry Hyde (R.-Ill.), through to passage. The bill is so tough on the UN that it has run into some trouble with UN Ambassador John Bolton.
On Conservatives in Washington: That’s Washington State, not Washington, D.C. Pence was asked by Bob Williams, president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, how he could have bigger impact in the Evergreen State. Pence said someone should invite him. He went on to praise Rep. Cathy McMorris (R.-Wash.), one of the rising stars in the GOP.
On Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, I-69 and running for President in 2008: One of Pence’s fans from Indiana asked an interesting assortment of questions that ranged from his view on Interstate 69 to a presidential run in 2008. On the first two questions — about Daniels’ budget-cutting efforts and construction of I-69 as a toll road — Pence gave a thumbs-up. But he openly dodged the third question about Sen. Evan Bayh’s (R.-Ind.) potential presidential candidacy in 2008 and whether Pence would throw his hat in the ring. “Probably one Hoosier running from Indiana is enough in 2008,” Pence said.
On new Majority Leader John Boehner (R.-Ohio) and ethics reform: Although Pence was an influential supporter of Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.), he said Boehner gives the GOP a solid leader who has a record as a reformer. But Pence warned that just changing the rules as they apply to lobbyists won’t get the job done. He said Congress needs to do a much better job with taxpayers’ money.
UPDATE — 12:24 p.m.: More coverage of Pence’s post-speech meeting is available on the American Spectator’s blog. David Holman questions why CPAC scheduled Pence to speak at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.