Conservatives Rally Behind Mike Pence

Conservative leaders in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday they would support Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) for minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.

David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union, the largest and oldest grassroots conservative organization in the country, said he thinks that Republicans need someone like Mike Pence to lead them back to the conservative principles they’ve abandoned.

Pat Toomey, president of the Club for Growth, a PAC that fights for fiscal discipline, said he agreed.

“I think that Mike Pence would be a great leader for House Republicans,” he said.

However, both men said they would like to see the House leadership elections, currently scheduled for November 15—two days after Congress returns to Washington—pushed back to give Republicans more time for regrouping.

“Those who survived yesterday haven’t even had a chance to discuss what happened—let alone chart out a strategy for the next Congress,” Keene said. “They should do so before electing new leaders and they should reject those who would simply rubberstamp the leadership who contributed to the defeat of so many of their colleagues last night.”

He also alluded to the fact that Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.), Majority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.), not the conference’s rank-and-file members, deserve most of the blame for the GOP’s troubles in the House.

“The problem is the House leadership,” he said. Adding that, “Leadership consists of setting an agenda, getting people behind it and shooting for the vision.”

Toomey said America needs new leaders to step forward and steer Republicans back to principles of limited government.

“It’s critical that there be new faces, new ideas and new commitment to conservative ideas leading the Republican conference,” Toomey said. “And so we think it would be very constructive to postpone the elections.”