Why not Mike Pence in 2016?

posted at 5:21 pm on April 16, 2014 by Allahpundit

If you’re wondering why this otherwise prosaic Bloomberg piece about Pence’s national future begins with a mention of the Koch brothers, it’s probably because the guy who wrote it worked for Paul Sarbanes and, briefly, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz before resuming his career as an impartial reporter.

But never mind that. Is Pence the dark horse?

“I have no doubt that he would make a great president,” said Steven Chancellor, the chief executive officer of Evansville, Indiana-based American Patriot Group, the parent of a company that makes ready-to-eat rations for the Pentagon. “He certainly distinguished himself in the House” and is “off to a great start as governor.”…

He spoke at the Washington-based Club for Growth’s annual conference in Florida in February and, during a trade visit to Europe this week, he is expected to criticize President Barack Obama for failing to counter the annexation of Crimea by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Five years ago, Pence scolded Obama for revising President George W. Bush’s missile defense plan in Eastern Europe because Russia opposed it…

Pence has won praise from small-government conservatives for taking action in Indiana to back away from Common Core education standards supported by another potential Republican candidate, Florida’s Bush. The Washington-based Heritage Foundation, in a Facebook posting, applauded him for rejecting Common Core.

His allies say Pence has developed bonds with the major constituencies within the Republican Party — the small-government crowd, anti-abortion rights groups, and defense hawks — without alienating business-oriented voters.

He’s well-known to grassroots righties as a full-spectrum conservative — socially, fiscally, and hawkish on defense. I remember commenters pleading with him in both 2008 and 2012 to jump in and spare them the agony of another squishy nominee. That would have been tough at the time, when he was known only for being a member of the House; famously, no congressman’s won the White House since Garfield in the 19th century. Now, though, he’s got a year of experience as governor of a midwestern swing state and will have two more years under his belt by the time Iowa votes in 2016. In fact, I believe he’s the only potential candidate in the GOP field who’s served as both the chief executive of a state and a federal legislator. He knows his way around in a way that none of his rivals do.

What’s his niche in the field if he decides to run, though? He might be too conservative for centrists who are more comfortable with Jeb or Christie, especially on immigration. He might be too hawkish and right-wing on social issues for libertarians who like Paul. And he might be too low-key for tea partiers who prefer Cruz. There’s a chance, I think, that he and Jindal would end up in the same box, as guys who are respected on all sides but who fail to excite any single constituency to the degree needed to build a movement. I see him as a potential compromise candidate if the party ends up deadlocked between the centrist champion and the tea-party champion — but then, I also see Scott Walker in the same role. Who wins if Walker and Pence end up competing to be white knight/dark horse that rescues the GOP from a bitter fight between Jeb and Rand at the eleventh hour? My hunch is that Walker does because he won the battle of Armageddon in Wisconsin, but that depends on how important immigration is in the primaries. I think Pence is more of a hawk than Walker is; he’s been a reliable borders-first guy whereas Walker is … more complicated. If Walker ends up struggling because of immigration, maybe Pence is the answer. They may be the only two guys with a legit shot to win who can play with both the establishment and the base.

Is the post-Paul GOP ready to nominate a guy, though, who not only supported invading Iraq but cast a vote in Congress to do so? Hillary did too, of course, but Hillary will back far, far away from that vote in the general election. Will Pence?


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Pence-ayotte

matthew8787 on April 16, 2014 at 7:47 PM

ayotte?

Nothing like a John McCain disciple.

bw222 on April 16, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Mike WHO?

Yeah, right.

Diluculo on April 16, 2014 at 11:14 PM

That’s my list as well: Pence, Jindal, Walker

GOPRanknFile on April 16, 2014 at 7:22 PM

My list is: Perry, Pence, Palin(yeah-it’s really me), Jindal, and Walker.
Perry and Pence were my top 2 in ’12 as well.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 16, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Mine is Pence > Cruz > Walker > Perry > Paul. I miss Palin but I don’t think she is coming back. As for Jindal, wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole. I’ve seen some of the news articles about his statements in the past few years and have a bad feeling about him, which stinks because he used to be one of my favorites too.

Mike Pence won the governorship by three points.

Mitt Romney won Indiana by twelve points.

I don’t think we want a presidential nominee who performed worse than Romney.

Mister Mets on April 16, 2014 at 9:22 PM

As I’ve noted elsewhere, while his election was relatively close, Pence currently enjoys approval ratings in the 60s. He is not “unpopular.”

Doomberg on April 16, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Mike Pence won the governorship by three points.
Mitt Romney won Indiana by twelve points.
I don’t think we want a presidential nominee who performed worse than Romney.
Mister Mets on April 16, 2014 at 9:22 PM

So tell me, which one of these 2 won the election they were running in?

Brock Robamney on April 17, 2014 at 5:27 AM

Pence would be an acceptable nominee.

Unlike Bush, Christie, or Huckabee.

DRayRaven on April 17, 2014 at 5:54 AM

The problem was not the invasion of Iraq. The problem was the occupation of Iraq for a long time. We should have taken out Saddam and then told the leaders in Iraq they need to organize a government that does not harm US interests or we will be back by air and not dropping leaflets. Bush’s ego and his sucking up to the Saudis is what the problem was

georgealbert on April 17, 2014 at 8:17 AM

If we run Jindal, he gets an added 10 or 15% of the moderate vote just for being non-white.

itsnotaboutme on April 16, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Nowhere near that much. We might gain a percent or two from nominating a non-white, but we will also lose votes because Jindal has terrible presence and zero charisma.

slickwillie2001 on April 16, 2014 at 7:27 PM

WHAT?
Where have you been in the last several years?
Jindals has wowed crowds all over the conservative circuit.

No one is better during debates & TV interviews, BTW. Terrific command of facts & ideas.

Re. non-white, Obama was elected solely because his non-whiteness overcame his many incredible flaws.
Jindal doesn’t have those flaws.

itsnotaboutme on April 17, 2014 at 8:23 AM

The more I see of Mike Pence, the more I like. He uses a steady, deliberate and principled approach to problem solving. He has wide appeal that will cut across the groups necessary to build a winning electoral coalition. Above all else, he not only has a vision but the proven skills to carry it out.

The electorate has had enough of our wide partisan divide, one-party rule, an executive who lacks the skill to navigate our democracy, a meandering economic policy, a dangerous foreign policy, grotesque, overreaching government, lifetime, self-serving politicians in Congress and an entire class of bureaucrats that have anointed themselves oligarchs when they should be servants. With the right VP coupling, Pence could overcome our significant challenges. I hope he joins the race.

Marcus Traianus on April 17, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Re. non-white, Obama was elected solely because his non-whiteness overcame his many incredible flaws.
Jindal doesn’t have those flaws.

itsnotaboutme on April 17, 2014 at 8:23 AM

You are correct about Obama, but all the people who were excited to come to out to vote for Obama as opposed to staying home like they usually do are not going to come out to vote for Jindal.

Doomberg on April 17, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Walker/Pence 2016

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on April 17, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Doomberg on April 17, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Not only would Jindal attract moderates & Democrats (LIKE HE ALREADY HAS IN LOUISIANA, turning a blue state red), he would forever kill off that stupid GOP=racist accusation.

itsnotaboutme on April 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

itsnotaboutme on April 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

I like Jindal but lived in Louisiana from high school through med school in the 70s and 80s and outside of their weird fixation with the crooked Edwin Edwards, don’t remember it being anything but red. I’d even take a John Breaux (Democrat La. Senator) who was MUCH more Conservative than some of what we have today in the Republican Senate.

Marcus on April 17, 2014 at 9:27 AM

If Jindal is the candidate, the media will be FINE with racism toward him, just like they are with racism toward Alan West, Ben Carson or Condoleeza Rice. They will be making fun with Bollywood jokes and funny accents like Guru Jay (The Blaze.) They bullied Gov. Palin and only a few liberal women spoke out about it.

No, we have to have a qualified candidate, hopefully a governor, but if not, I would still take Cruz, or Rubio in the future. I would love to see each of these at the helm of their states as governor, but there is not time. Rand Paul, also, is all talk and has never dealt with running a government, sadly, this makes these guys perfect Vice Presidents. Ryan, is a budget expert, and I would put that as a plus in his corner.

Huckabee is a plump do nothing who ought to be running for Senate from his state. Sarah ought to be running for Senate also. You lose creds on competency when you don’t manage a state or a city or something.

Fleuries on April 17, 2014 at 9:27 AM

If Jindal is the candidate, the media will be FINE with racism toward him, just like they are with racism toward Alan West, Ben Carson or Condoleeza Rice. They will be making fun with Bollywood jokes and funny accents like Guru Jay (The Blaze.) They bullied Gov. Palin and only a few liberal women spoke out about it.

If you can’t find a Republican who fights BACK with ferocity, there’s nothing the Republicans can do outside of nominating a puppy. It’s why I like Walker and Rubio, I’ve never seen them have flop-sweat on camera or unable to name a newspaper they read.

Marcus on April 17, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Rocks on April 16, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I hear you. But, the election has become more of a popularity contest. If they are going to run Hillary, we need someone young and vibrant. Scott Walker is that person. He got through a recall and won by a larger margin, has a high approval, and Wisconsin is rocking it. He has been vetted like no other and is squeaky clean. Like I said, Walker, Cruz, Paul…hey how about Paul/Walker… :)

The young vote and women will see Pence with his white hair and they will roll their eyes. If you have to explain that Pence is 54, etc. etc, then he is not the right person to get the nod. A good man, yes, but again, the first rule is perception is everything. I keep saying that because the Right is perceived to be racist, rich, uncaring, intolerant elitists. Rather, it is the Left, that has projected exactly what they are onto the Right. And people believe it every time.

The Left really has no one but Hillary or Michelle (don’t put it past them, people love her–again perception). The perfect antidote to Hillary’s age is youth. I’ve been in politics long enough to know the game and how to win it.

Cruz/Walker is perfection…creds, youth, debate skills, and will not back down. Walker proves that conservatism works every where its tried and had the b*lls to get it done. And that’s what the GOP needs…serious testicular fortitude period.

SueZeeQ on April 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

I’m not sold on Pence yet, but I like what I hear so far.

MDLibertyLover on April 17, 2014 at 9:49 AM

I hope I don’t jinx it, but the Republicans seem to have an impressive list of problem-solving governors: Pence, Walker, Haly, Jindal, Perry, Chistie, Snyder, Scott, Bush, Martinez, etc… And a lot of these imressive problem-solvers seem to be snffing out a run for President.

I’m looking forward to them duking it out.

Deafdog on April 17, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Congrats!

This is the first article on Hot Air re 2016 candidates that
makes some sense. And without snark re potential other candidates.

I recall previously thinking that Mike Pence was too boring to
run for president and gain interest on a massive scale.

However, perhaps we are ready for a little “boring” as long
as the person is willing to do the job well.

I also thought (shallowly I admit) that Rand Paul was too short
to run for president. Then I researched him and like what he
stands for. He remains on my short list for the time being.

Perhaps it is time for another look at Mike Pence.

Amjean on April 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Doomberg on April 16, 2014 at 7:14 PM

This!

My list (in no particular order): Cruz, Lee, Pence, Walker, Jindal and (just because he stood up to Holder), Louie Gohmert

Sue Doenim on April 17, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Because he’s for amnesty. If I’m wrong about that, I’ll be happy to reconsider.

Any (R) that’s for amnesty shouldn’t even be in office, period. Let alone seriously considered for President.

Meople on April 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

itsnotaboutme on April 17, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Indeed, he has. Jindal is so strong on rule of law that I think he had problems at first going against the federal government. Just engrained principles of submission to and respect for authority at play.

But once he realized that the actions of the federal government was coming from a corrupt source, and it was destructive to the people of LA who had elected him to act in their behalf…he really stepped up and became as passionate a representative of the people that could have been hoped for.

I have a lot of respect for the man.

lineholder on April 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Marcus on April 17, 2014 at 9:27 AM

One of the biggest thing Jindal has in his favor is that he’s been such an advocate for School Choice.

As far as crossover issues go, this one spans across the entire political spectrum with lots of Americans coming to view this as an issue of high priority.

lineholder on April 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Meople on April 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

That’s my problem with Pence. If I remember correctly, he is a proponent of Amnesty! Don’t know where AP gets his notion of Pence being a hawk on immigration.

tomshup on April 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Just so we are clear. If you are litmus test “ARGH ‘AMNESTY’!!!” primary voter, then Pence is just like every other single potential candidate that has been mentioned here and elsewhere. (Yes, including Cruz, as Allah has pointed out).

Personally, I like Pence as a dark horse candidate, but nothing more. However, I think Walker is a much better “bridge” candidate and has proven to be an effective executive for conservative causes.

cdog0613 on April 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM

No one is better during debates & TV interviews, BTW. Terrific command of facts & ideas.

Re. non-white, Obama was elected solely because his non-whiteness overcame his many incredible flaws.
Jindal doesn’t have those flaws.

itsnotaboutme on April 17, 2014 at 8:23 AM

I love watching Jindal on GMA or Morning Joe. You can tell he scares the crap out of the panels. He does has great ideas. Making birth control pills over-the-counter totally destroys the “war on women” theme.

Geographically, he and Walker or Pence would be good team.

monalisa on April 17, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Abraham Lincoln was a compromise candidate….

tkmcp on April 17, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Pence-Ayotte

matthew8787 on April 16, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Ay-No Thanks!

roy_batty on April 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM

So tell me, which one of these 2 won the election they were running in?

Brock Robamney on April 17, 2014 at 5:27 AM

We need a Republican who win in Florida, Colorado, Ohio and Virginia.

All we know of Pence is that he’s been able to win in places Republicans are already favored.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, while his election was relatively close, Pence currently enjoys approval ratings in the 60s. He is not “unpopular.”

Doomberg on April 16, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Popularity isn’t the issue. The close win suggests that he may not be a good campaigner.

I have similar concerns with John Kasich. It’s not helpful if voters come around on a guy after a few years since he has to first be able to win.

Abraham Lincoln was a compromise candidate….

tkmcp on April 17, 2014 at 11:05 AM

There is the argument that Lincoln was the ideologically pure candidate.

Though there was also a strategic advantage in picking a guy who could keep Illinois in play.

Mister Mets on April 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Hmmm, Pence or Walker…..pure bliss!

roy_batty on April 17, 2014 at 11:32 AM

I have similar concerns with John Kasich.

Mister Mets on April 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Kasich was key in passing the AWB in 1994.

All in the name of reaching across the aisle & bipartisanship.

No thanks.

roy_batty on April 17, 2014 at 11:34 AM

I think this is why Pence chose to run for gov., stepping out of Congress. He was floated in ’12, but it’s a big leap from there to the White House. I think he needed to check off the “executive experience” box, and I’m not aware of any huge mistakes he’s made so far in leading the state. I’d strongly consider supporting him.

We could do worse (and probably will).

:)

cs89 on April 16, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Perhaps he needed to know if he actually could run a state, not just wanting to “check off a box.” Executive experience is important because of the experience, not because of the title.

cptacek on April 17, 2014 at 11:36 AM

But regardless of the eventual Republican nominee, can’t we all get behind voting against a Democrat? I’m tired of hearing about so-and-so being unworthy of a general election vote. The primary process is supposed to work, and if it doesn’t, well, the general sure will — for the winning side.

Lolo on April 16, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Imagine Christie won the Republican primary. Could you vote for him? Imagine Ron Paul won the Republican primary. Could you vote for him?
Imagine Huckabee won the Republican primary. Could you vote for him?

Unless you say yes to all three, then asking everyone to just vote for the Republican nominee is hypocritical.

cptacek on April 17, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Why not Ted Cruz?

neyney on April 17, 2014 at 12:02 PM

My heart leapt at the the thought that we might have a good choice in ’16, but after reading Mark Krikorian’s NRO piece about Pence’s views on immigration, I’m a lot less enthusiastic. I am heartily sick of candidates who think we can’t see through the obfuscation and misdirection. Sorry, Mike, but it’s really pretty simple. I want you to embrace “No amnesty”, and by that, I mean no advantage whatsoever to crossing the border illegally, most especially not any kind of leg up to get citizenship or residency. A touch back followed by immediate return here won’t do it, and the fact that you would even try and pass that off as tough on immigration tells me I can’t trust you.

Are you listening, John, Eric, Scott, Paul, and all the rest of you?

pehrsson on April 17, 2014 at 12:15 PM

My heart leapt at the thought that we might have a good choice in ’16, but after reading Mark Krikorian’s NRO piece about Pence’s views on immigration, I’m a lot less enthusiastic.

pehrsson on April 17, 2014 at 12:15 PM

It’s amazing how many otherwise solid Republicans (Pence, Walker, etc.) become total squishes on illegal aliens/amnesty.

I think, as much as anything, they fear being labeled racist or xenophobic by the media and the fear is so great they are willing to throw away our country’s future to avoid those labels.

Then there are people like Jeb and Christie who totally suck.

bw222 on April 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM

. . .the guy who wrote it worked for Paul Sarbanes and, briefly, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz before resuming his career as an “impartial reporter.”

I fixed that for ya. Just thought I’d add the quotation marks around the impartial reporter designation so everyone would understand that his impartiality is a joke.

Troy Rasmussen on April 17, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Pence just started his term. I’d support him if we had no other conservative with requisite executive experience, but we do: Jindal.

Larry_Talbot on April 17, 2014 at 1:42 PM

F R E A K 2016

Let’s win in 2014 before spending mental and financial energy on 2016.

If Republicans don’t take the Senate in 2014, and then start making serious, substantial, constructive changes to government, there won’t enough Republican voters in 2016 to matter.

pilsener on April 17, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Executive experience is important because of the experience, not because of the title.

cptacek on April 17, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Fair enough. I mean no disrespect to Pence.

My point is that he was mentioned in ’12, and my thoughts (and comments here at the time) were that it is highly unusual to go from Congress to POTUS. If his long-term plans included a potential presidential run, I think that path goes through the governor’s mansion- which is where he is now.

I think his comments are that he’ll decide “next year” whether to run for a second term, or for President. We’ll see what happens.

And for now, let’s shift focus back to the 2014 races IMO…

cs89 on April 17, 2014 at 3:27 PM

What does Bob Costas think?

Galtian on April 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Why not Zoidberg?

antisense on April 17, 2014 at 4:37 PM

SueZeeQ on April 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

And some of us women roll our eyes at shallowness.

Did Mike Pence run over your dog or something?

jazzuscounty on April 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Ssshhhhhhhh! I don’t want them coming after him, he is a great choice for President, because he is a governor.

Fleuries on April 16, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Not sure if I necessarily agree with the notion that our potential nominee has to be a Governor. I think Ted Cruz has demonstrated the ability to both legislate and articulate a conservative agenda second to none. And more importantly, Cruz would fire-up the conservative base in a way it’s not been fired up since President Reagan.

Additionally, don’t forget that Cruz is also a dynamic debater who has demonstrated the ability to dominate the issues in a debate format second to none.

I hope and pray Ted Cruz runs. America needs Ted Cruz!

Bob Davis on April 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

I like Pence … liked him when he was in the House …
like him more now … I really want our nominee to have executive experience.

I also like Perry, Pain, and Walker.

conservative tarheel on April 17, 2014 at 7:53 PM

You, sir, have my attention. I’d sign up for Mike Pence over just about any of the prospective GOP candidates being floated these days.

Right Mover on April 17, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Is the post-Paul GOP ready to nominate a guy, though, who not only supported invading Iraq but cast a vote in Congress to do so? Hillary did too, of course, but Hillary will back far, far away from that vote in the general election. Will Pence?

I won’t hold it against him because he voted for the Iraq War. I will hold against him if he fails to understand what a strategic blunder it was for the country and what a political blunder it was for the GOP.

I will also grow suspicious of him if drags up a whole bunch of ex-Bush folks and middle east centric foreign policy people. Any American foreign policy they does not make China and Russia above all else is a foreign policy that is beyond stupid.

William Eaton on April 17, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Oh, another old white guy. Great. That’ll show em

ctiberius on April 16, 2014 at 5:47 PM

The knee-jerk reaction of the quintessential low information voter.

Right Mover on April 17, 2014 at 8:19 PM

jazzuscounty on April 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I like Pence, I just do not think he can win. I’ve met him as well. I find it humorous that others have made the same comment, but I seem to be the only one called out on it? Shallow, no. Truth, yes. So, why am I the only one being called out (better not be b/c I’m a chick). We need to finally have someone who can win and generate excitement in the base across all ages. I just do not think he is the one. We also need someone who can pull a purple/blue state’s electoral votes. I stand by what I said. The GOP should not be looking to run someone who looks older than they are. The voters are just to fickle for that. And the proof that the GOP runs the wrong candidate is the fact Obama has won 2 elections.

SueZeeQ on April 17, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Can’t have another baby boomer and expect to win. The country is ready to move on from that particular leadership.

Another Libertarian on April 17, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Pence/Walker

Eastwood Ravine on April 17, 2014 at 11:50 PM

Oh, another old white guy. Great. That’ll show em
ctiberius on April 16, 2014 at 5:47 PM

The knee-jerk reaction of the quintessential low information voter.
Right Mover on April 17, 2014 at 8:19 PM

But he is ok with a fossilized Ron Paul

Brock Robamney on April 18, 2014 at 5:42 AM

Basically his plan would have just reclassified illegals who are already here as “guest workers” with a 6-year visa.
Jon0815 on April 16, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Really good analysis of Mike Pence’s 2006 immigration bill. ‘Border security first’ in his bill meant DHS would ‘certify’ that the border was secure first. Does that jog anyone’s memory?

It would create a new category of visa for the worker, their spouse and children (say anchor babies) The program does not start for 2 years after the bill is passed, which gives everyone a chance to get in first. Temp agencies will screen the hires – a pretty good way to keep citizens from finding out about the jobs. Oh and these new hires will be for jobs they cannot fill with citizens -but the bill has no provision to determine which jobs, which means it will be done by regulation. DHS can waive rules for humanitarian reasons. Workers can qualify for welfare. After X years they either have to leave, or can apply for permanent resident status, which is the pathway to citizenship, since obviously they cannot be deported if they want to apply to stay.
Here are more details. Pence submitted this bill right when Sensenbrenner had submiitted a secure the borders first bill, thus undercutting Sensenbrenner.

When you see the depth of what was in the Pence bill, it wasn’t written on the fly. It had the smell of the Obamacare bill, filled with details that had to have been voted on, yet obscure in the promised protections, with waivers and exemptions.

Guess they thought it was so long ago no one remembered

entagor on April 20, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Walker is soft on amnesty. Where is Pence on amnesty?

I will NOT vote for a pro-amnesty person. EVER!

stenwin77 on April 21, 2014 at 1:14 PM

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