Pence: Republican Ship 'Off Course'

During his remarks at CPAC 2006 early Saturday morning, Human Events Man of the Year Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) expressed his concern at the "big-spending ship" Republicans in Washington refuse to steer back to conservative waters.

Pence said for a time he thought Congress had merely "drifted off course" but later realized they weren’t about to attempt to curb their big-spending habits.

"I believed that we were off course not because we’d abandoned these principles, or forgotten the shining city on the hill,” he said. "We’d simply made honest, but flawed calculations on how to get there. I no longer believe that. It’s one thing to drift off course…it’s quite another thing to continue that course when half the crew and passengers are pointing out that nothing looks familiar … not to mention the tens of millions of Americans lining the shoreline screaming, ‘You’re going the wrong way!’"

He said at this point, an increase in government has become Republican philosophy in Washington, D.C.

"The evidence for this is overwhelming … while President Bush has called for increases in non-defense spending of 4 percent for the last five years, Congress has delivered budgets spending more than twice that each year … Congress has spent $380 billion more than the President requested under Republican control," he said.

However, Pence countered, there is hope. Many positive changes have been made under Republican leadership in recent years.

"We’ve dismantled and scattered the network of terrorists within our United States," he said. "We’ve liberated nations from oppressive, murderous regimes and the American soldier has brought the promise of democracy and freedom to millions who have never known it. We’ve cut taxes again and again. President Bush has put the brakes on leftist, activist courts with his sound appointments, including two strict constructionist justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. We’ve stopped the horror of partial-birth abortions."

But, he said, spending is out of control with earmarks in the tens of thousands and America is tired of it.

"Our ship is running out of fuel, our crew is running out of patience, and we are running out of time."

He said it’s not time to abandon ship, however.

"We will find our way to morning in America. But first, we must go back to the future — back to doing the hard thing because it’s the right thing."

In closing he told listeners at CPAC not to give up.

“If there were not cause for hope, you would not be here today. Each of you has chosen to stay and fight for this country’s future, its course, and its place in history, as a defender of freedom and a beacon to all nations.
"You have chosen to stand against the defeatists and the preachers of inevitability. Each of you is armed with unique strengths, talents and skills, but most of all, conviction — the strength of knowing that our cause is just and our cause is right.  And that the American cause is mankind’s cause for it is in the hearts of all people to be free."