Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) slammed President Obama’s health care summit slated for Feb. 25 during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.
First, however, Pence acknowledged the timeslot of his speech was going head to head with Tiger Woods’ much anticipated public statement, both scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday.
“YouTube springs eternal,” Pence joked about the chance that anyone outside CPAC would get to see his remarks.
But Pence took a hard line later on when talking about Obama’s proposed health care summit with the GOP later this month.
“When it comes to some health care summit that’s nothing more than a photo op designed to pave the way for Obamacare 2.0, the answer is no,” Pence said.
Pence reminded the CPAC audience he predicted an American awakening a year ago at the same conference — held the month after Obama’s inauguration — but admitted even he had no idea of the scope of the American people’s response expressed through the tea parties, the marches on Washington, and the conservative victories in the Virginia and Massachusetts elections.
“You proved Thomas Jefferson right. He said, “The people are the ultimate guardians of their own liberty,” Pence told the CPAC audience, adding that his knees “locked” when he first walked out of the Capitol for the 9/12 march and saw the massive crowd assembled.
Pence stressed the importance of getting a conservative majority, not just a Republican majority, to Congress, and he guaranteed from ‘inside the building’ that Republicans are back inside the fight, and on the right.
“I say ‘no’ is way underrated here in Washington, D.C.” Pence said of the mantra that the left has assigned to his party: the party of no.
Pence responded that when it comes to borrowing, spending, and bailouts, the answer is no.
Pence did have some advice about the role of an American president, however, saying the person’s job is not to [oversee] the decline of America.
“The job of the American president is to reverse it,” Pence said.
And to reverse the decline, Pence gave some specifics: on national security, he said America needs to support soldiers and give them the resources they need, give the intelligence community the ability to fight war on terror like a war, try KSM in a military court, stand in solidarity with Israel, and approach China with one hand extended and one hand resting comfortably on the holster.
Pence talked about getting the economy under control, but he also talked about America needing to fix its moral compass. He said marriage should be defended, if need be, in the Constitution, and he received a standing ovation when he talked about several pro-life issues, including demanding taxpayer dollars not be used to fund abortion and that the federal government stop funding Planned Parenthood of America.
Pence’s political goals were transparent in everything but his own aspirations: he wants a conservative majority to take back Congress in 2010 and the country back in 2012. But the person who introduced Pence and who preceded him in Congress, former congressman David McIntosh, was much clearer about asking for a presidential run from Pence.
“I think he’ll be the next Great Communicator in our party,” McIntosh said of Pence, before closing his introduction by saying he hopes people will have a chance to say ‘yes’ to Pence in 2012.
Pence jokingly thanked McIntosh for his “grossly over the top” introduction but later in his speech showed he’s still more focused on 2010 than a possible presidential run in 2012.
“Anyone that’s not focused on the midterm election don’t have their eye on the ball,” Pence said, paraphrasing Mississippi governor Haley Barbour.