Profile of Vice President-elect Mike Pence CSPAN December 25, 2016 6:34pm-7:50pm EST
heading up a new congressional office? mr. pence: it is, as we expected, a massive undertaking. we are trying to build on a solid foundation of people with experience, who can focus first on meeting and addressing the ongoing needs of the people of the second congressional district. >> tell us about your home district. mr. pence: the second congressional district of indiana is heartland america. it is a marked by a couple of industrial centers, but for the most part, a lot of farmland, a lot of small communities, and really going to be a delightful place to represent in washington, d.c., as a conservative. >> what issues from home are you bringing here that you would like to focus on? mr. pence: i would really like to focus on tax relief. i believe once we have kept our promises to senior citizens, it is imperative we seize this time of extraordinary budget surpluses to bring about tax relief for working families, small businesses, and family
farms. also, i'm hearing from the people of my district a real concern about military readiness and a national security, and i'm very much hoping to be a part of the discussion of rebuilding the military. >> tell us a little bit about your background, which includes broadcasting. mr. pence: it does. although i'm trained as an attorney, i spent the last seven years of my life working in syndicated call-in radio, kind of c-span without the cameras. and enjoy very much being a daily syndicated talk show host exclusively in indiana, and also did a little bit of television work. hopefully that has prepared me well and taught me how to be a listener. >> from those calls, what have you learned from your listeners about what their concerns are as the new congress starts? mr. pence: i have learned that people are genuinely concerned , lou, with of which most closely touches their lives. the security of their families,
the strength of their jobs in local economy. the education of their children. when i was a talk show host i found that when we were talking about issues that came close to home, we would strike a responsive chord. as i come into congress, i focus on those kinds of issues. >> you have three children? mr. pence: yes, all under the age of eight. hardest working campaigners in indiana. >> with such small children will you be moving the family here, how do you decide what to do? mr. pence: it is a difficult decision to make. we are going to make some plans in the short term to homeschool. my wife is a 15-year public school teacher, she will take on those duties and permit us to live in both places. when congress is in session i want my wife and children here with me. but when we are out for any length of time we want to be at home in indiana. >> we talk about the bipartisanship of the class coming in.
how will you reach across the political aisle? mr. pence: i always used to say on my radio program, i am a conservative, but i am not in a bad mood about it. i believe that civility is essential to the survival of the republic. we have to develop in this congress and the national government and national debate a new civility that brings a sense of humility, humor, and the ability to argue issues vigorously but walk out the door and understand that we are all americans, we are all working hard to make america a better place. >> joining us to talk about the vice president-elect is tony cook of "the indianapolis star." how much of that mike pence that we saw in interview 16 years ago is still with us today? how much has he changed in 16 years? tony: in terms of conservative principles, you cannot get much further to the right of mike pence. those are principles that he has stood on and built his brand
with over the years. so you really have not seen too much in the way of him varying from those conservative positions that he has espoused since his early days in congress. host: you said to build his brand on conservative issues. issues like abortion, gay marriage, perhaps religious freedom. during his time in congress, how did those views expand? how did he build on that foundation of use? -- views? tony: here in indiana as governor he advocated for measures that tipped the scale in favor of religious freedom over gay rights. he also proposed -- i am sorry, signed an abortion law that was one of the most restrictive in the country. so he has certainly stood by
those principles here as governor in indiana. those have been the more controversial aspects of his time here in indiana. host: during his time in congress he spoke annually at the march for life event every january. he spoke in january 2003 in the 30th annual march for life. we will show you now. [video clip plays] [applause] rep. pence: thank you so much, it is a beautiful day in america to see so many shining faces. i am congressman mike pence, i am from indiana, and i am pro-life. [applause] rep. pence: i rise as my colleagues have done. we heard from missouri to say yes to life. i rise to say it is time for the president of the united states of america to send in the principled pro-life judges and we will move them into the
courts and end roe v wade forever. [applause] rep. pence: it is time to end partial-birth abortions in this country. it has no place. [applause] rep. pence: it is time for all of the reforms. adoption reform, and the president's initiative for faith-based initiatives that will speed resources to crisis pregnancy centers and ministries around america that are there for women with more than a hollow choice, with real answers meeting their real needs. but i am mostly here today as a father and american to say thank you to you from my heart. because of all of you and the millions of americans you represent, abortion is in steep decline in america today. [applause] rep. pence: abortion is less
available, less legal, and most importantly, less morally acceptable than any time since 1973. you alone have exposed the empty promises of the left who offer a choice, but deliver only heartache and disappointment. and a national conscience steered by pain -- seared by pain. the media will depict some of us as strange for standing in the cold. "usa today" said we should get on with it. that the extremist speeches that would be heard today were a little bit crazy. to be honest with you, i think about the song by billy joel that says, "you may be right, i may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic america is looking for." [cheering and applause] rep. pence: it just may be time, as has ever been the case, on the steps of the lincoln memorial in 1963, on this very
soil in 1776, where every time throughout american history where we have achieved moral, social change, it has been crazy americans who believed in inalienable rights like the right to life. i am mike pence, i am pro-life. [applause] inhank is you will and -- thank you, and god bless you. clip]ideo host: during his time in congress he was often critical of the president and his use of executive powers. what did mike pence learn as governor, in terms of executive power? what sort of guidance do you see giving him the trump administration? tony: sure, well, as an administrator and executive, those were new rules for him when he became governor in
indiana after spending 12 years in congress. the relationship with the legislature started off on a little bit of a rocky footing. you had situations throughout his time as governor where he tended to set guardrails rather than specific policy proposals. in a lot of ways lawmakers like that. but other times they preferred he would have showed stronger leadership and firmer proposals. it was a bit of a mixed bag. i think even he would tell you there was a pretty steep learning curve in that sense. ultimately, lawmakers knew he respected the legislative process because of his time in congress. that is something he will bring to the trump administration. he will be an advocate and a liaison between trump and the
congress. he still has many friends and close allies. host: as you said, he has close allies on capitol hill and a close working relationship once he becomes vice president. did he have a close working relationship with the indiana legislators? tony: i think he did. the thing in indiana, the legislature was controlled by republicans. they had super majorities in both chambers throughout his time as governor. the relationship was cordial, not that they did not have disagreements at times. ultimately, party unity swept over that during his time. host: two years after the 2008 democratic win, republicans gained back control of the u.s. house. shortly after the 2010 midterms, mike pence spoke in washington about that. in particular about the role of the presidency.
here is what he had to say. plays]clip rep. pence: the presidency is the most visible thread that runs through the tapestry of the american government. more often than not, for good or ill, it sets the tone for the other branches. it spurs the expectations of the people. its powers are vast and consequential. its requirements from the outset and by definition, impossible for mortals to fulfill without humility and insistent attention to its purposes as set forth in the constitution of the united states. isn't it amazing? given the great and momentous office, that those who seek it seldom pause to question what they are seeking? rather, unconstrained by reflection or principle, there is a mad rush toward something that once its powers are seized, the new president can wield it as an instrument to transform the nation and people according to his highest aspirations. but other than in a crisis of a house divided, the presidency is
neither fit nor intended to be such an instrument. when it is made that, the country sustains a wound. it cries out justly and indignantly, and what the country says, the theme of this address, what it says, impelled by its long history, but quite naturally and rightly, it may well have said on november 2, is that we as a people are not to be ruled and not to be commanded. [applause] rep. pence: it says that the president should never forget this. that he has not risen above us, but is merely one of us. chosen by ballot, dismissed after his term. tasked not to transform and to work his will upon us, but to bear the weight of decision and
carry out faithfully the design laid down in the constitution by theassioned declaration of independence. the presidency must adhere to its definition is expressed in the constitution. while the powers of the office have been large, along with the judiciary, the framework of the government was intended echoing back to the 18th century. without proper adherence to the role contemplated for the role of the presidency, the checks and balances in the constitutional plan become weakened. this has been most obvious in recent years when the three branches of government have been subject to the tutelage of a single party. under either party it seems, presidents have often forgotten they were intended to restrain
the congress at times. and that congress is independent of their desires. thus fused in some kind of unholy unity, the political class has raged forward in an expansion of power and prerogatives, mistakenly assuming that to exercise power is by default to do good. even the simplest among us knows this is not so. power is an instrument of fatal consequence. it is confined no more readily than quicksilver and escapes good intentions as easily as air flows through mesh. therefore, those were entrusted with it must educate themselves in self-restraint. a republic, if you can keep it, is about limitation. and for good reason. because we are mortal, and our actions are imperfect. the tragedy of presidential decision is that even with the best of choice, some, perhaps many, will be left behind. and some, perhaps many, may die.
because of this, a true statesman lives in what churchill called a continual stress of soul. he may give to paul, but only because he robs peter. that's why you must be wary of a president who seems to float on his own greatness. for all greatness is tempered by a mortality and every soul is equal. it is a tragedy indeed the new generations attributes failures of governance to insufficient power, and invariably, seek more of it. in the judiciary, this has seldom been better expressed than by justice thurgood marshall's dictum that you do what you think is right and let the law catch up. in the congress it presents itself in massive legislation, --s and codes thousasnds thousands of pages long, so
complicated no human being could read through them in a lifetime, much less understand them, much less apply them justly to a people that increasingly feel they are no longer being asked. they feel like they are being told. our nation finds itself, too often of late, in the position of a dog whose duty it is not to ask why, because the why is too elevated for his nature. just simply obey. but america is not a dog. it does not require a "because i said so" jurisprudence. to which it is then commanded to or legislators who knit laws of such insulting complexity that they are heavier than chains. or a president who acts like, speaks like, and is received as a king. [applause] rep. pence: the presidency has run off the rails. it begs a new clarity, a new
discipline, a new president. [applause] rep. pence: the president is not our teacher, our tutor, our guide, or our ruler. he does not command us, we command him. we serve neither him nor his vision. it is not his job or his prerogative to redefine custom, laws, or beliefs. to appropriate industries. to seize the country by the shoulders or the throat as if to impose by theatrical charisma his judgment on 300 million people. it is neither his job or his prerogative to shift power of decision away from the people to him and to the acolytes of his choosing. is my characterization of unprecedented corruption incorrect? i will defer to the judgment of
the people, which they will make with their own eyes and their own ears, but listen to the exact words of president obama's transition team, who said at the point of his election "it is important that president-elect obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one." or more recently, a nominees and failed to get confirmation, the new head of the financial consumer bureau, "president obama understands the importance of leveling the playing field." take power, rule, leveling. though it is now, this has never been and should never again be the model of the presidency or the character of the american president. [applause]
rep. pence: no one can say this too strongly. no one can say it enough until it is remedied. we are not subjects, we are citizens. [applause] rep. pence: we fought wars so we do not have to treat kings like kings. and if i may remind you, we won that one. [laughter] [applause] rep. pence: the powers of the presidency are extraordinary and necessarily great. and great presidents treat them sparingly. no finer, more moving or profound understanding of the nature of the presidency and the command of humility placed upon has ever been expressed in my judgment, than by president
coolidge. he, like lincoln, lost a child while he was president. a son of 16. "the day i became president," coolidge wrote, "he had just started to work in a tobacco field when a fellow laborer said to him, if my father was president, i would not be working in a tobacco field. to which young calvin replied, if my father were your father, you would." [laughter] rep. pence: his affection for the boy was obvious. and his admiration. while in the white house, president coolidge's son contracted blood poisoning from an incident on the south lawn. coolidge wrote words that resonate with any parent in the room. he wrote, "what might have happened to him under other circumstances, we do not know. but if i had not been president," and then he continued, "in his suffering he
was asking me to make him well, and i could not. and when he went, the power and the glory of the presidency went with him." a sensibility like this, not power, is the source of presidential dignity. and it must be restored. it depends entirely upon character, self-discipline, and an understanding of the fundamental principles that underlie the republic, and life itself. it communicates that the president feels the gravity of his office and is willing to sacrifice himself. that his eye is not upon his own prospects but upon the storm of history, through which it is his responsibility to navigate with the specific powers accorded to him, and the limitations placed upon them. not merely by man, but by god.
in the capitol rotunda are heroic paintings of the signing of the declaration, the victory of saratoga, the victory at yorktown, and something seldom seen in history. a painting that depicts a general, the leader of an armed rebellion, resigning his commission and surrendering his army to a new democracy. upon hearing from benjamin west that george washington had won the war and be urged by some would instead return to his farm, george iii said, if he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world. he did. and he was. [applause]
rep. pence: to aspire to such virtue and self-restraint would in a sense be difficult. but in another sense, it should be easy. difficult because it would be demanding an ideal. and easy because it is the right thing to do. and the rewards are immediate and self-evident. a president who slights the constitution is like a rider who hates his horse. he will be thrown. [applause] rep. pence: and the nation along with him. the president solemnly swears to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution. he does not swear to overlook or reinterpret it. two [laughter] rep. pence: other than in a crisis of morality, decency, and existence, like the civil war. if he should want to hurry along the constitution to fit his own
designs he should do so by , amendment rather than adjustment. if he joins the powers of his office to his own willful interpretation, we step away from a government of laws toward a government of man. the president should regard the constitution and the declaration like an obsessed lover. they should be on his mind all the time. the prism through which the light of governance passed. though we have sometimes gradually, sometimes radically moved away from this, we can move back to it. who better than the president to and restore this wholesome devotion? now whereas at home the , president must be cautious, dutiful, and deferential, abroad, his character must change. were he would ask how to act in relation to other states, which no holder of the office has needed up to this point, and
primer to be written in 1776 or 2010, you can be confident it would contain at least the following instructions. first, you do not bow to kings. [applause] rep. pence: outside our borders, the president of the united states bows to no man. when in foreign lands, you do not criticize your own country. [applause] rep. pence: you do not argue the case against the united states, but rather, the case for it. [applause] rep. pence: you do not apologize to the enemies of the united states of america. [applause]
if, and it is an if that requires long and deep thought, tremendous labor in determining the truth of things, lifetime education, the knowledge of a general, the wisdom of a statesman and the heart of an infantry man. if after careful deliberation, the deepest prayer, if then you go to war, then having gone to war, by god, you go to war to win. [applause]
gov. pence: you do not cast away american lives are those of the innocent noncombatant upon a theory or notion. if the politics of your own election or own party entered upon your decision for even an instant, there are no words for this. more common place, he must not spend money on equipment of the armed forces, if he errors it should be on the side of surplus. he must be the guardian of his troops, taking every step to avoid the loss of every single american life. the american soldier is as precious as the closest of your kin because he is your kin. the president must say to the congress and the people, i am the commander-in-chief. it is my sacred duty to defend the united states of america and to give our soldiers what they need to complete their mission and come home safe. [applause]
gov. pence: in fulfilling his duty, if the president labors, he would have betrayed his office. this is not policy. it is probity. it is not an expedient artifact of imagination, it is written on the bloodsoaked ground of saratoga, yorktown and pearl harbor, iraq and afghanistan. 1000 other places in our history in lessons repeated over and over again. at the height of the conflict between congress and the president in early 2011, mike pence seem to endorse the idea of a government shutdown. we are joined by tony cook of the indianapolis star who has covered mike pence. what can we expect from vice president-elect pence if the sort of situation arises if he is elected?
>> i think you have already seen to some extent how he is going to handle these situations. he is going to be trump's liaison to congress. he has a very good relationship with paul ryan and many others in the house from his time there and i think that he will probably be the person in the administration who seeks to smooth over any hurt feelings for harsh disagreement. of course, a lot of this is going to depend on who is in control of congress. we know with the case will be for the next two years but after that, if democrats were able to take back one of the chambers, i think that could be a very different scenario and i think you could see pence bringing out some of the more hard lined tactics in that case. >> in march of 2011 at the
height of the shutdown crisis, tea party activists rallied in washington, demanding government shutdown if indeed significant budget cuts were not made. congressman mike pence spoke to that group and supported some of their goals. gov. pence: i am mike pence, from indiana, the tea party, patriots, americans, welcome back to your nation's capital. [applause] gov. pence: with the death of -- deficit this year of $1.65 trillion in the national debt of $14 trillion and a defiant, liberal majority in the senate, it is time to pick a fight. in 2010, the american people sent a deafening message to both political parties in washington , d c.
they said it is time to end the borrowing and the spending and the bailouts and it is time to and the congress of nancy pelosi once and for all, and you did it. and you get it. [applause] mr. pence: house republicans have gone to work, awarded the majority again. we cut our budget, we repealed obamacare locks stock and barrel on the floor of the house of representatives and we voted to cut spending. the pre-stimulus, prepare about levels, defunding obamacare and all funding for planned parenthood of america. that is what we did. the house republicans have run headlong into harry reid. harry reid actually took to the floor of the senate and said
that our modest down payment on fiscal discipline was reckless, irresponsible, mean-spirited. he even defended federal funding for the cowboy poetry institute in nevada. the truth is, they just do not get it. they do not understand the party is over for liberals in washington, d.c. the american people are demanding that we change the physical direction of our national government but i have to tell you, i learned a long time ago things do not change here in washington dc until they have to. we have to say to harry reid and liberals in the senate, this far and no farther. we have to borrow a line from another harry and say the debt stops here. if liberals in the senate would
rather play political games and shut down the government instead of making a small down payment on fiscal discipline i say, shut it down. [chanting] nobody wants the government shutdown, but if we do not take a stand we will shut down the future for our children and grandchildren. this is a defining moment for the majority in congress. not that $61 billion in cuts is much to write home about. this is actually just a down payment, maybe just earnest money on restoring fiscal discipline but it is a start and it is a first step and it will be a first win for taxpayers that could set the stage for larger victories on battling
against the debt ceiling increase without fundamental reform, battling for a budget and a long-term vision for fiscal discipline and setting our nation back toward a constitutional limited government. you know, sometimes even small steps boldly taken can change history. like it did on christmas night 1776. the harsh winter storm in the delaware river valley, public support for the war was waning, troops were married and demoralized. a general conceived of a bold and daring plan. he would pick a fight in the dead of night, taken directly to the enemy. they boarded the boats, crossed the great river and they won the day. by historical standards his
crossing was a small event. 2400 americans fought 1500 has since -- hessians. by contrast 115,000 men fought a battle that continued for a day, battle of the bulge involves more than one million men. while the battle of trenton was not a great battle, it was a battle of consequence. it was a defining moment in our still young nation. the victory rocked by the continental army showed victory was within our reach. the americans were still willing to fight and it rekindled the fire of independence and set the stage for larger victories to follow. today, our struggle is not against an implacable enmity and -- enemy and when i compare military contests with political debates but the principle is the same.
by picking a fight and we need this one small step toward fiscal discipline in washington dc, the american people will see that victory over deficits and debt is within our reach, that we can fight and we can win and we can restore limited government at the national level. and so we must fight. [applause] mr. pence: republicans must show we are worthy of this moment, equal to the crisis, willing to stop, turn and squarely face of the mountain range of debt that threatens our children's future, squarely face all of those who defend the status quo. if harry reid wants a fight, let's give it to him. [applause] mr. pence: democrats in the
senate may think they have the advantage, but let me assure you, it only seems that way. a minority in the senate plus the american people equals in majority. [applause] mr. pence: and know this, know this, men and women. whenever you take a stand for freedom, future generations, for traditional values you do not fight alone. he who stills the waters, he who cleared the ice on the delaware will make a way for america, for he is not done with america yet. let's go take a fight. [applause] >> one of the more high-profile controversies that mike pence had to deal with as governor was
a law that was passed and he signed that critics said made it easier for businesses and individuals to discriminate against people based on their gender. we are by tony cook of the indianapolis star. tell us what the law dated out of the governor react to the criticism? >> the law essentially tipped the balance in favor of religious objectors who said that if someone were to say that a government regulation infringed on their religious rights, it would tip the balance in that person's favor. the concern was this would allow christians or other religious believers to turn away gay or lesbian people because of their religious beliefs. it was a big controversy here in indiana, calls for boycotts, federal does several businesses threatened to cancel projects here in indiana.
it is a big sports and entertainment town with a big convention. business and there was a real threats to tourism industry here in indiana. the business community rose up and opposition to the law and demanded it be scaled back some. some of the few cases were i have seen pence actually reverse or bow down to calls that he moderate on social issues, he did sign a fix to the law that essentially prevented it from overwriting local nondiscrimination ordinances that some cities here in indiana had on the books. it was sort of a compromise with the business community and it was a situation where i also think you saw mike pence's propensity for message discipline to backfire in a way.
he appeared on some sunday news programs to defend the law at the height of the controversy and really stumbled when asked whether the law would allow discrimination. he stuck to his talking points over and over and over again rather than really addressing the question and that caused him some problems. while that message of discipline may be a great thing when you are running with donald trump who likes to shoot from the hip, it can also be a liability in some cases. >> what about when he is in the white house with donald trump? how does his experience from that law and of the controversy surrounding it, how does i guide him in a future encounter with this kind of legislation or issues in the white house? >> despite the fact that he was willing to sign a fix to the law, he never moderated his initial position on that issue.
he has been a rock conservative from day one. i cannot imagine that changing in the white house. i think one of the reasons donald trump chosen is because even the a social conservative. i think you will see him be that voice and encouraging trump who may not be as familiar with some of the history of the social issues, may not be as passionate about them. he is going to be that conservative voice. >> one of them was adding a provision protecting lgbt rights and responsibilities. here is a look at the news conference. governor pence speaking to reporters about the issue.
mr. pence: thank you all for coming. it has been a tough week in the hoosier state. we are going to move forward because as governor have the great privilege of serving the greatest people on earth, the people of indiana. let me say first and foremost i was proud to sign the freedom restoration act last week i believe religious liberty when president clinton signed the federal law, i believe religious liberty is our first freedom.
it is vital to millions of americans who cherish faith as i and my family do. it is also vital to the framework and freedom of our nation and this legislation was designed to ensure the vitality of religious liberty in the hoosier state. hoosiers are entitled to the same protections in our federal courts for the last 20 years. clearly there has been misunderstanding and confusion and mischaracterization of this law. i come before you today to say how we are going to address that. we have been working over the last several days, literally around the clock and talking with people across the state of indiana, talking to business
leaders and talking to organizations around the country who have spent time in indiana, enjoy the hospitality of the people in indiana and we have been listening. let me say first and foremost, as i've said to each one of you, the religious freedom restoration act was about religious liberty, not about discrimination. as i said last week, had this law been about legalizing discrimination, i would have vetoed it. this law does not give anyone a license to discriminate. the religious freedom restoration act directed at my -- does not give anyone the right to deny services. it is simply a balancing test used by federal courts and jurisdictions for more than two is decades. let me say on the subject of the bill itself, i do not believe
for a minute that it was the intention of the general assembly to create a license to discriminate or a right to deny services to gays, lesbians or anyone else in the state and it certainly was not my intent. i can appreciate that is become the perception, not just here in indiana but all across the country. we need to confront that and confront it boldly in a way that respects the interest of all involved. personal reflection for a moment, if i can. i abhor discrimination. the way i was raised was like most hoosiers with the golden rule. you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you. i believe in my heart of hearts that no one should be harassed or mistreated because of who
they are, who the love or what they believe. i believe every hoosier shares that conviction. as i said, we have a perception problem because some people have a different view. we intend to correct that. after much reflection, and in consultation with the general assembly, i have come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that does make it clear that this law does not give businesses the right to deny service to anybody. let me say that again. i think it would be helpful and i would like to see on my desk at the end of the week legislation that is added to the religious freedom restoration
act in indiana that makes a clear this law does not give businesses the right to deny services to anyone. we went to make it clear that indiana is open to business. we want to make it clear that hoosier hospitality is not a slogan, it is our way of life. it is the reason why people come here from around the world and they come back again and again and again because hoosiers are the kindest, most generous, most decent people in the world. let me say i believe this is a clarification but it is also a fix. it is a fix of a bill through mischaracterization and confusion would be greatly misunderstood and i determined to address this this week and move forward with the state. indiana has come under the harsh
glare of criticism from around the country. some of us get paid because of -- to be under the harsh glare of criticism, so we do not complain about it. the things that been said about our state have been deeply offensive to me. and i will defend the good and decent people of indiana we are going to make that happen. i think it is important we take this action this week. i have spoken to legislators, and we will be working to make that happen. >> governor mike pence from 2015. we are talking with tony cook from the indianapolis star. the issue of mike pence's rocksolid conservative views have been discussed.
how did he initially develop these views? what is the root of his political beliefs. >> he will tell you the actually grew up a democrat and it was not until he was at hanover college that he really got to know some conservative republicans and essentially along with ronald reagan renewed -- who he grew to admire really changed his political views. at the same time he met karen pence and his wife and became a born-again christian. that is a religious experience that he has talked about a lot over the years that really forms a core part of who he is. he has been with the indianapolis star since you can 2012. read his reporting. thank you for joining us.
>> thank you for having me. >> we will wrap up with mike pence speaking earlier before his selection as vice presidential running mate for donald trump. here he is speaking at the annual cpac gathering in washington. [applause] mr. pence: thank you. thank you, john. thank you for that warm introduction. good evening to you all. it is an honor to be with you among such a large group of so many americans, men and women who represent the bolt work of the leadership of the conservative movement in the united states of america. i appreciate that kind
introduction but the introduction i prefer is a little bit shorter. i am a christian, conservative and republican in that order. [applause] there is an old saying, when you see a box turtle on a fence post, you know one thing for sure, he did not get there on his own. that is certainly true of my life. other than my faith, my family, my beloved wife who is here with me tonight and my fellow hoosiers, i arrive tonight first and foremost to pay a little bit of gratitude to you. i owe so much to cpac, to the movement, to the namesake of this dinner for the inspiration and opportunities i have been given. it is good to be back at cpac, the premier conservative gathering in the united states of america. [applause] mr. pence: we gather in 2015 in a challenging time in the life of this nation, and
administration paralyzed right ideology and incompetence that has weekend --weakened america's place in the world. and stifled our nation's economy. while the challenges we face are daunting, the choices are not. the 50 years ago, ronald reagan helped birth are movement. to birth ourd movement with his iconic time for choosing speech. today we are coming to another time for choosing. you either choose to view america as a shining city on a hill that inspires the best in all mankind or you do not. you either want america to stand by friends and stand up to enemies or you do not. you are either for limiting the power of the federal government or you are not. you are either for protecting the unborn and the religious
liberty or you are not. after winning both houses of congress, more state houses than ever before and electing 31 republican governors in states like maryland and massachusetts illinois, the american people have made their choice and we are on the verge of a great american come back for our ideal. i believe that because i believe in this movement. my grandfather immigrated from ireland. my dad built a gas station business in a small town in southern indiana. while i actually started in politics as a democrat, when i heard the voice of the 40th president of the united states, it all changed for me. i live the dream of becoming a >> -- i live the dream of
becoming a becoming a congressman and only so as of the great state of indiana. [applause] mr. pence: i served 12 years in the congress and i love to say if i only had 12 more years i would want to live it as a member of congress because that was the longest 12 years of my life. [laughter] mr. pence: the truth is, we have not had a government as good as our people in washington, d.c., for some time. it is worse today than ever before. at home, the errors are almost too numerous to count whether it is a government takeover of health care, the internet, the president's unconstitutional executive amnesty or the war on coal, the administration's policies are snapping the vitality and threatening prosperity. most americans understand you cannot improve health care by ordering every american to buy health insurance whether they
want it or need it or not. you cannot expect the internet to thrive with these unwarranted and unjustifiable regulations. you cannot change the laws by executive fiats and you cannot build an energy policy by raising the costs of electricity on working americans. it should almost go without saying obamacare must be repealed, the sec's rule must be reversed and the precedents -- president's action rescinded and the war on energy must and. -- and. end.st tonight, allow me to offer some advice. to the rising generation of leaders who may be gathering in looking on the country and how we might confront the challenges we face abroad and home. first, let me submit the 2016 could actually be the first foreign policy national election
since 1980. sadly, this administration has reduced our army to the smallest size since 1940. the navy has fewer ships than any time since 1960 and the air force has it smallest tactical fighter force in history. history teaches you cannot reduce our military's strength without provoking our enemies. weakness arouses evil. as we speak, isis is setting up franchises across the middle east and is on the offensive across the arab world. the president says that jobs are the answer to violent jihad. mr. president, jihadi john does not want a job. he wants to see paradise and i think we should help them get there as quickly as possible. [applause]
mr. pence: with the growing threat of homegrown terror, it is important to remember our first line of defense is the right of self-defense. now more than ever the right to keep and bear arms must not be infringed on the american people. violent jihad is not our only threat. in asia, china is massively expanding its military. last month the pentagon admitted the chinese satellite and ballistic missile technologies are rapidly approaching our own. as we gather here tonight, a new iron curtain is descending down the spine of europe as modern russia seeks to redraw the map of europe by force. unlike the former soviet union who respect the strength of the west, putin ignores talks of sanctions.
claims land and supports rebels in ukraine with impunity. if we do not know enough about the threat of a rant, the -- iran, the heritage foundation military strength released just this week lists iran as "by far the most significant security challenge facing the united states and its allies and interests in the middle east." in a few days, the leader of our most cherished ally will come to washington dc to warn congress and the american people of the gathering storm he believes will strike his country and threaten ours if we allow the worlds most dangerous regime to obtain the world's most dangerous weapons. traveling to israel, and that -- i met with the prime minister in his private quarters. on the very day the palestinian authority was trying to force a settlement on israel through the united nations, it would've compromised israel's security.
i saw firsthand the resolve and determination of this courageous leader. who stands to often alone in times of great peril across the middle east. speaker boehner was right, to invite prime minister netanyahu to address our congress and nation at such a time as this. israel's cause is our cause, their enemies are our enemies. if the world knows nothing else, let it know this, america stands with israel. [applause] mr. pence: the truth is, you cannot command the respect of the world while we spend years apologizing to enemies and abandoning friends and lecturing to people about the crusades while refusing to call islamic extremism by name is an abdication of leadership.
as president reagan taught us, peace comes through strength. providing for the common defense of the united states is the chief responsibility of our national government. with everything happening in the world, i believe my fellow conservatives, i believe it is imperative that conservatives again embrace america's role as leader of the free world and the arsenal of democracy. i believe the time has come to dramatically increase defense spending. to confront knowable and unknowable threats of the new century. without rebuilding our military, no strategy or innovation, no matter how brilliant, will be sufficient to protect the american people and the sovereignty of the united states. among other measures, we could revive the future combat in the marine corps. resume production of the most
advanced fighter aircraft in the world, the f 32, and we can rebuild our navy. a safer america is a more prosperous america. of course, our strength begins at home and our families, communities, businesses and states. second, let me suggest that our movement also puts the promise of federalism and state-based reform back at the center of the conservative agenda in the 21st century. [applause] mr. pence: as president reagan said, it is important to be reminded, and i quote, that the federal government did not create the states, the states created the federal government. [applause] mr. pence: our states are not territorial outposts of the federal government, they are at wellspring of vitality and reform. i should know. i come from a state that works. [applause]
mr. pence: in indiana, we balance budgets and have a aaa bond rating. that is a lot better than washington, d.c. we passed the largest state tax cut in history. we have the largest educational voucher program in america. i am proud to say indiana was the first states to withdraw from common core in the midst shifting sands of contemporary culture and law, we have stood without apology for the sanctity of life, the importance of marriage and the freedom of religion. [applause] mr. pence: it is working. in our first two years in office, unemployment has dropped from 8% to 5.8%. we have seen 100,000 new private sector jobs created and at last year be that the nation in -- we led the nation in manufacturing jobs created.
graduation rates are up, test scores are up and life is winning in indiana. abortion is in decline and the great state of indiana for the fifth straight year in a row. [applause] i do not come here to brag about indiana. well, i did not come here just to brag about indiana. [laughter] mr. pence: i came here to encourage each of you today with the progress being made in indiana and other republican led states and to urge you as leaders and activists in this movement to take encouragement from the successful results, conservative policies achieving in states across the country. after 12 years in congress and two years as governor, i am more convinced that the cure for what ails this country will come more from our nations state capitals than it ever will from the nation's capital.
let's put state-based innovation and reform at the center of our national agenda. let's look to the example of republican led states. they are balancing budgets and crafting solutions to the most intractable problems facing our nation. that includes getting runaway federal spending under control. when it comes to most public assistance programs, states are simply better equipped to innovate and manage anti-poverty programs in a fiscally responsible way. states cannot print money. during my years in congress, i honestly never recall anyone focusing on revenue forecasts when we passed a spending bill, but in indiana or we have a -- where we have a balanced budget, this year's budget will only be completed when we get the final revenue forecast to make sure that the income meets the outcome. states are better equipped to innovate and reform the integrated programs. -- antiquated programs. in indiana we ended traditional medicaid for all able-bodied
adults and replaced it with consumer driven health care and health savings accounts. [applause] mr. pence: we have expanded access to health care, not through federal mandates but marketplace reforms founded in personal responsibility and self-reliance. education because we believe all work is honorable, today indiana is crafting plans to be the state in america to make first career in vocational education a priority in every high school. let's empower the states ever new flexibility to develop positive, substantive alternatives. let's give each other room as a movement to try new ideas and innovate without reflexively rejecting policies that break new ground. let's wean ourselves off the washington center notion that every problem must find his -- its answer and our nation's capital. some say the next nominee of our party should be a governor. i am certainly sympathetic to
that view. [laughter] mr. pence: all kidding aside, what i can tell you i am looking for is somebody that says, send that is not somebody that says said me to washington, d.c., and i will run our nation's capital the way i ran our state capital. for those of us that served in the city, you know washington, d.c. is not a state, literally or figuratively. i am listening for someone that says, send me to washington dc and i will make it more possible for the next person running my state to run it with more freedom and more flexibility. that is the constitutional way. [applause] mr. pence: when we win back the white house and reelected republican to congress, let's make it our aim to permanently -- permanently reduce the size and scope of the federal government by restoring the states the freedom, flexibility and resources as there's under the constitution of united states of america. [applause] mr. pence: finally, and finally
as we strive to be the party of solutions at home and abroad, let's be relentlessly positive. i have said for years, i am a conservative, but i'm not in a bad mood about it. we need to be cheerful partisans. we need to be happy warriors. lord knows we need a little optimism these days. i was reminded of that at the indiana state fair. a man walked up to me, a great conservative, older gentlemen, with sad eyes and a very look at -- a weary look about him. he said he supported everything i stood for and that he asked with a trembling lip -- governor, do you think the country is going to make it? he had all the telltale signs of excessive cable television viewing. [laughter] i put my head on his shoulder and i said, of course. we are americans. we always make it.
we always find a way. [applause] mr. pence: you know, that man and millions like him are worried understandably about our country and future because of the failings of our national government. our national government has all kinds of problems and flaws and weaknesses. let's remember the american -- america is not the american government. let's stop confusing the american government with the american people. ronald reagan said it best -- we are a people with a government, not the other way around. [applause] i learned that lesson a long time ago when indianapolis was hosting all of the living recipients of the medal of honor. we work dedicating a memorial to all of those great men. i was a talk radio show host and i have the privilege of interviewing them with one of them a name -- named jack lucas
born in 1928 in north carolina. he enlisted in the marine corps in 1942 at the age of 14. lucas was so determined to join combat that he stowed away on a ship to joint the fifth marine division. jack turned 17 at sea just a few days before landing at iwo jima. on the day following the landed, private lucas was following through a ravine with three men went enemy can recognize -- went -- when two enemy grenades landed nearby. he used his body to cover both hand grenades and save his marines despite horrible injuries. in 1945 he was awarded the medal of honor by president harry truman. [applause]
we talked about his experiences, exchanged pleasantries. he spoke with remarkable humility about his extraordinary courage. then i asked him a question. i said jack, you're part of the greatest generation. you probably worry about this country when you see young people these days. in that moment, his countenance changed. the old soldier looked at me and said, son, you obviously have not the first idea we were -- what you are talking about. i laughed nervously. this was live radio. i said why don't you enlighten me? and he did. he said, growing back in the 1930's we did not have any more sense than kids did these days. we wasted just as much time,
we partied just as much, but when the time came, we stepped up because we are americans. kids these days will do just the same thing. [applause] mr. pence: as we say, i have been told. i do not know how right jack was until a few years later. on a sunny morning in september of 2001, the day i found myself in my first term as a member of congress on capitol hill with sirens blaring in every direction, columns of smoke brown billowing from the pentagon, and the next day, there were lines outside every recruiting station in every city and town across this nation.
[applause] in the years that follow, in my trips to visit soldiers in afghanistan and iraq, i saw the sacrifices of the new greatest generation, who just like jack said, stepped up. they did what needed to be done. so i say with conviction tonight, the american people today, despite all of the failings of our national government, the american people today are every bit as strong and patriotic and generous and selfless and resilient and freedom loving as they have ever been throughout the great history of this great nation. [applause] mr. pence: our nation deserves leaders of our party and this movement believe in the american people with an unshakable faith. faith is my final point. we are not in this alone.
the bible says we are the spirit of the lord is, there is -- where the spirit of the lord is, there is liberty. when we hold the banner of liberty high and take up the cause of freedom at home and abroad, i believe in all of my heart we take this cause as our own and we do not fight alone. my fellow conservatives, let's be confident and let's have faith. faith in america's unique responsibility and the founder's vision of limited constitutional government. faith in the capacity of the american people, especially in our states to craft solutions to the complex problems that are facing us and faith in him who set this miracle of democracy on the shores that he will fulfill his promise for this last best hope of earth. we have come to another time of choosing and i believe with all
of my heart with your help and with god's help, once again, america will choose freedom. [applause] mr. pence: thank you and god bless you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [applause] ♪ >> the presidential inauguration