Friday, February 10, 2017

Chris Dickson Interview by NBC News in New York Discussing Vice President Mike Pence

Left to Right: Chris Dickson and Pastor Ron Chappell
"The Dickson/Chappell Report"
WKBV 1940 A.M.
Richmlond, Indiana

Click the Link below
 to read and listen to the 
Mike Pence 
discussion regarding the 
U.S. 9th  U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Friday, November 18, 2016

Days After Trump Is Elected, The Surprising Truth About Mike Pence Is Exposed

It’s fair to say that until recently, most Americans had never heard of “Mike Pence.” But ironically, this relatively unknown man will soon take the second-highest office in the country.
Today he’s mostly known for being President-Elect Donald Trump’s sidekick, but truth be told, there’s a side of Mike Pence that many haven’t seen.
When I learned more about Mike Pence, my respect and admiration for America’s Vice President-Elect only grew all the more.
Unlike most men in Washington, Mike Pence wasn’t raised in a thriving political household. Instead, Pence carved his own path — fueled by deep convictions which were grounded in his faith.
Michael Richard “Mike” Pence was born on June 7, 1959, in Columbus, Indiana. Pence was the youngest of six children born to devout Catholic churchgoers, Nancy Jane and Edward J. Pence, Jr. His father was a U.S. Army veteran who earned a humble living by operating a gas station.
Pence admits that his parents were never politically inclined. But unlike his family, heroes such as John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. caught young Pence’s attention and inspired him to get involved in politics.
Pence revealed, “I grew up on the front row of the American dream. My grandfather immigrated to this country, and I was raised in a small town in Southern Indiana in a big family with a cornfield in the backyard. Although we weren’t really a political family, the heroes of my youth were President John F. Kennedy and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
The young Pence soon discovered his voice and even entered an oratorical contest in the fifth grade.
“It shouldn’t have come as a surprise,” said Nancy. “He was always talking. What surprised me was how well he could talk in front of large crowds. I believe it was sponsored by the Optimist Club, and Mike was competing against kids in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades,” his mother said. “When it came his turn, his voice just boomed out over the audience. He just blew everybody away. I had a hard time associating the boy up there speaking with our son.”
Pence graduated from Columbus North High School in 1977 and went on to study history at Hanover College. Throughout his childhood, Pence always clung to his faith and had even considered becoming a priest. But in college, his faith wavered and he eventually decided to turn his back on God.
“I went off to college and had largely walked away from the faith that I was raised to believe in,” Pence told the congregation at First Baptist Jacksonville in Florida.
The handsome young man had given up on religion, but that didn’t stop God’s powerful plan for his life. And it wasn’t long before Pence was surrounded by devout Christians who reminded him of the faith he once clung to.
Pence shared,  “When I got to college, I met a group of folks in a non-denominational Christian fellow group.”
Pence recalled the life-changing day he told his fraternity “big brother” that he’d love to get a Christian cross like the one he wore. His friend’s unexpected response left such a powerful impression, Pence would recall it decades later on the floor of Congress.
“Remember, Mike, you have got to wear it in your heart before you wear it around your neck,” Mr. Pence said his fraternity brother told him.
His friend’s convicting message resonated with Pence and months later, he found himself at a Christian music festival. It was there that Pence was again was reminded of the Gospel and all that “Jesus had done” for him. That sermon finally led Pence to take action.
“My heart broke with gratitude and I gave my life to Jesus Christ,” he said.
Pence went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in history from Hanover College in 1981, and a law degree from the Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1986. But for Pence, rededicating his life to Jesus Christ wasn’t the only blessing that came out of college.
Soon after making the decision to follow Christ, a young musician at church by the name of Karen caught young Pence’s attention.
After service one Sunday, Pence approached Karen and discovered that he went to law school with her sister. A few days later, Pence went to the registrar to look up Karen’s sister to get “the scoop” on the pretty guitarist. At first, the registrar refused. But when Pence explained why he wanted the number, the registrar gave in.
Mike called the phone number for Karen’s sister — but to his complete shock, Karen answered instead. Pence was so surprised, he accidentally hung up on her. Pence took a few moments to collect himself and redialed — eventually inviting Karen out to dinner.
Their adorable first date included ice skating and family, and a “bet” that the pair would eventually get married.
That night, Karen’s 10-year-old niece bet Pence $1 that he would marry her aunt.
That little girl eventually won the bet. And the registrar who made it all possible attended their wedding on June 8, 1985.
This year, Mike and Karen celebrated 31 years of wedded bliss — and as their new role in America approaches, the Pence family remains a united front.
“We’ve always been a team,” Karen said. “We’ve always approached it [politics] as a team.”
The future vice president chimed in, “She’s the best part of my life, everything we do in public life, we do together. I can’t imagine it any other way.”
But Mike Pence is not only a devoted husband, but he’s a proud father as well.
Mr. and Mrs. Pence have three children together: Charlotte, Michael, and Audrey.
Throughout his political campaign, the Pence family has shown their true colors. The three children have been incredibly supportive of their dad’s campaign — traveling with him, making calls, and praying for him every day.
Mike Pence is a proud supporter of our troops. Especially due to the fact that his eldest, Michael J. Pence is a Marine Corps officer.
Pence’s eldest daughter, Charlotte is a filmmaker and a writer. According to her website, Charlotte directed a documentary called “For the Records,” which highlights the struggle of mental illness. She was also associate producer and co-writer of “Fleeced,” which won nine regional Emmy awards.
The youngest of the Pence family, Audrey Pence, is a social liberal. She’s independent politically and has voted split ticket in elections. But despite the fact that they don’t share the same views, her dad has been proud of her for thinking independently — and she voted for him in the Indiana governor election.
Audrey revealed, “Probably the person I get the most respect from is my dad. He has always… he tells me so many times, ‘I am proud of you for having your own opinions and looking into things.'”
But even more important than being a family man, Mike Pence considers his faith in Jesus Christ the most crucial aspect of his life.
Pence shared,“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican. In that order.” And added that his “Christian faith is at the very heart of who” he is. Pence continued, “I made a commitment to Christ. I’m a born-again, evangelical Catholic.”
Politics may be new arena for Donald Trump, but Pence — a former six-term congressman — is well aware of the liberal backlash that comes when you take a stand for unborn lives, Israel, and the Second Amendment.
The liberal media’s response to Pence’s election has been nothing short of horrific. Countless headlines mock, name-call, and repeatedly insult the former Indiana Governor and his family. But despite it all, Mike Pence remains steadfast, unshakable, and firm in his stances.
“One thing you can say about Mike Pence is he’s got a very calm, steady demeanor that in some ways is a little Reagan-esque,” said Christine Mathews, a Republican pollster for former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. “He’s a counterbalance to Trump in that way.”
Time and time again throughout this election, the former lawyer has encouraged Americans to respond to hatred with love — and make prayer a priority.
Pence shared, “I would encourage you, if you are inclined to do as the Pence family does from time to time, to bow the head and bend the knee. Pray that America will once again stand tall, stand strong. ‘[Prayer is] the last best hope of earth,’ that’s what Abraham Lincoln called it. It’s still true.”
Watch the powerful video below, as Pence explains why he thinks prayer is important in America: 

As countless Americans find themselves in the midst of riots, hatred, hurt, and anger, Pence reminds Americans to use the most powerful weapon in their possession: prayer.
“So, I encourage you. Remember, what’s been true for thousands of years is still true today. That if His people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray, He will hear from heaven, and He – as He’s always done before – He will heal our land. One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” – Mike Pence
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Praise God for our new Vice President-Elect Mike Pence! America needs more men like him! Please keep Pence and President-Elect Donald Trump in your prayers throughout this crucial time as they make their way to the White House.
May God Bless our new Leaders. And May God Bless America! Please share if you agree!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"Make America Great Again" Trump/Pence 2016

Left to Right: Major Chris Dickson (Ret) and SFC Sammy L. Davis, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

 When it comes to endorsements, I stand firmly arm-in-arm with the 14 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients who have endorsed Donald Trump for President. They, above all others, understand the severe ramifications of electing Hillary as our Commander-in-Chief. 
God bless you all! God bless Mike Pence! And GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Major Chris Dickson (Ret.)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mike Pence Wows Press With Speech in Pouring Rain at Virginia Rally


“Mike Pence just had THE campaign stop of his VP run. Pouring rain, no umbrella, protesters heard from afar, great crowd energy, revved crowd”, Vaughn Hillyard, NBC News.
Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana blew away the press Tuesday night with a high-powered performance as he spoke to and held a crowd of about 650 supporters in the pouring rain in Williamsburg, Virginia.
“Update: Pence is soaked, crowd is soaked, and I am soaked”
Watch Video:


The Dickson / Pence Families


Photo of the Dickson family taken in 1990 by Karen Pence, wife of  Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence, then Candidate for U.S. Congress (R-IN). We now have 9 Grandchildren to carry the Mike Pence banner!


Mike Pence A Heartbeat Away From The Presidency!


Left to Right: U.S. Congressman Dick Armey, House Minority Leader (R-TX), Mr. Chris Dickson, Goernor Mike Pence (R-IN). 


Indiana Governor Mike Pence is Donald Trump's Vice Presidential Pick


Left to Right: United States Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Mr. Chris Dickson, Candidate for the Indiana General Assembly (R-IN), Dr. Tom Ringenberg, and Mr. Mike Pence, Candidate for U.S. Congress (R-IN).


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Governor Mike Pence !!!

Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) announced today that he is running for Governor of Indiana. Pence is the Author of the Pence Amendment to Defund Planned Parenthood, a Bill that President Barack Obama has said he will veto.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Boundless American Future Of Mike Pence

John Hayward

Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), chair of the House Republican Conference, addressed the Detroit Economic Club on Monday.  It was the same day President Obama rolled out his proposal to reduce the deficit by about 1%, through a freeze on the salaries of civilian federal employees.  Pence had some larger ideas on his mind.
The gentleman from Indiana takes a dim view of the bailouts which have given the government so much control over the private sector.  “In September 2008, when the Bush Administration proposed that Congress give them $700 billion to bail out Wall Street, I was the first Member of Congress to publicly oppose it. I didn't think we should do nothing, I just thought it was wrong to take $700 billion from Main Street to bailout bad decisions on Wall Street. I warned that passing TARP could fundamentally change the relationship between the government and the financial sector and so it has,” Pence told his audience in Detroit.  “Taxpayer funded bailouts are no substitute for economic policies that will create real consumer demand. I have no doubt that American automakers and autoworkers can compete and win in a growing American economy.  To restore American exceptionalism, we must end all this Keynesian spending and get back to the practice of free market economics… The free market is what made America’s economy the greatest in the world, and we cannot falter in our willingness to defend it.”

As a matter of fact, General Motors was competing reasonably well in automobile sales, prior to the government takeover.  It wasn’t until 2008 that Toyota surpassed it as the world’s largest automaker, and both companies experienced declining sales that year, as the global auto market contracted.  Toyota actually posted the first operating loss in its history in 2008.  The big problem for General Motors was an unsustainable business model, in which paying fabulous union salaries and benefits became the primary reason for its existence.  Soaring labor cost killed GM, more than declining sales.
This is the model for statist economies around the world.  “Free” markets require flexibility.  Suppliers and consumers must be able to react to changing conditions.  Risk must carry the promise of reward, and the possibility of failure.  Unyielding entitlements and crushing tax burdens combine to form a layer of ice around businesses and their customers.  No one would have been willing to buy GM cars at the price they needed to charge, in order to make their business model work.

Bailouts don’t “rescue” capitalism.  They transfer resources from taxpayers to politically favored constituents.  The much-ballyhooed public sale of GM stock earlier this month profited unions far more than taxpayers, or especially the private-sector investors who owned shares of General Motors before the government takeover.

Pence told the Detroit Economic Club that he favors limiting federal spending to no more than 20 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, an essential first step to ensuring other fiscal restraints are not magically transformed into tax increases.  He recalled the words of Ronald Reagan: “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size.”  The acolytes of the total State have attempted to write this concept into our language, by calling endlessly increasing government “progressive”… which implies that making government smaller would be “regressive,” the agenda of Neanderthals desperate to “turn back the clock.” 

After stressing the importance of maintaining the Bush tax cuts to “end the uncertainty that is stifling investment, innovation, and growth,” Pence made a bold call for radical tax reform.  “The best option, the most pro-growth option, is a flat tax.  I believe it is time that America adopted a flat tax and scrapped the current system once and for all.”  Besides inflicting vast compliance costs on American corporations and individuals, our insanely complex tax system is a means of control.  It uses a network of subsidies and penalties to shape both economic and political decisions.  It is a system the government uses to purchase political support for its agenda.  Its punitive effects have become more important than revenue generation, as we can see from the furious resistance of socialists to tax reductions that have been historically proven to increase Treasury receipts.  A flat tax would represent a massive reduction of government power… which would mean a massive infusion of liberty.

Pence cited the absurd new tax filing requirements of ObamaCare as an example of government regulations run wild.  “Take the requirement from ObamaCare that businesses must file with the IRS a form 1099 for any purchases from a vendor for goods or services over $600 in a year.  Seriously, that is in the law. Of course, this is ridiculously burdensome and just adds to the red tape that small businesses face across the country.  It should be repealed immediately.”  A vote on repeal was scheduled for Monday night in the Senate.

Pence says that “to renew American exceptionalism, we must recognize that our present crisis is not merely economic, but moral in nature… As we promote policies to restore American exceptionalism, we must also reaffirm our nation’s commitment to the values that made our prosperity possible.”  On the gigantic scale of a four trillion dollar central government, economics is morality.  Entire populations have suffocated in the loving arms of the welfare state.  It only takes a few generations for the moral corrosion of dependence to wreak havoc on the intended beneficiaries of socialism.  America’s destiny will not be found in a musty cocoon of bailouts and welfare programs.

The nation stands at a crossroads, an intersection of opportunity and requirement for its people.  The two are incompatible.  One replaces the other.  We cannot believe in ourselves, and also believe in a State empowered to manage our lives.  The very rhetoric of “hope” Barack Obama used in his presidential campaign implies a weak and dependent populace.  “Hope” is passive.  People determined to command their own fates do not sit around and wait for someone to rescue them.  We can choose to accept risk and hardship… or we can settle for whatever the State sees fit to provide, in a world where winners and losers are chosen in advance, and the fruit of enterprise is stolen to purchase immunity from consequence.

In the conclusion of his remarks in Detroit, Mike Pence made his own choice clear: “I choose the West.  I choose limited government and freedom.  I choose the free market, personal responsibility and equality of opportunity. I choose fiscal restraint, sound money, a flat tax, regulatory reform, American energy, expanded trade and a return to traditional values.  In a word, I choose a boundless American future built on the timeless ideals of the American people. I believe the American people are ready for this choice and await men and women who will lead us back to that future, back to the West, back to American exceptionalism. Here’s to that future. Our best days are yet to come.”

John Hayward is a staff writer for HUMAN EVENTS, and author of the recently published Doctor Zero: Year One. Follow him on Twitter: Doc_0. Contact him by email at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

President Mike Pence 2012





Chris Dickson

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Huckabee: "Mike Pence is one of my Heroes"

Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee shares a laugh with Sandra Herman at the Allen County Republican Party Bean Dinner on Wednesday evening.

Huckabee gives Daniels, Pence a lift

FORT WAYNE – and possibly future – Republican presidential candidate believes two prominent Hoosiers would make viable candidates to be the country’s chief executive.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Gov. Mitch Daniels and Rep. Mike Pence would be qualified to lead the country as the next president. The Fox News host was in Fort Wayne on Wednesday as the keynote speaker at the Allen County Republican Party Bean Dinner fundraiser.

“Mitch Daniels has done I think an exemplary job as a leader, manager and governor of the state,” Huckabee said in an interview before the dinner. “I tend to think governors make good presidents because they’ve actually managed a microcosm of the federal government.

“On the other hand, Mike Pence is one of my favorite members of Congress, one of my heroes, and I love the guy. I think he is the most articulate, conviction-based and principled member of Congress. If we had 434 like him in the House, there wouldn’t be an uprising among the voters right now.”

Huckabee, Daniels and Pence have all been rumored as possible GOP candidates for president in 2012. Huckabee has not committed to seeking the post but said he would be happy to see Daniels and Pence run.

Huckabee sent a fundraising letter this summer criticizing Daniels for calling for a truce on social issues so government could focus on the economy. Pence topped Huckabee in the Family Research Council’s Values Voter straw poll last month – Daniels finished ninth.

“I would be delighted if either or both of them get in it because I think it just raises the level of the debate to solid conservative, responsible fiscal management,” Huckabee said of Daniels and Pence.

Huckabee said the race will be hotly contested, guessing 20 people would start out seeking the party nomination, which likely will be reduced to about eight by January 2012.

But he added that election is still far off, and the focus for voters should be on the upcoming congressional races and not speculation for president.

“The only thing that matters right now is making sweeping changes in the Congress this year in the midterms. That is going to do more to save our great republic than anything that happens two years from now,” he said.

Huckabee believes it will be a banner year for Republicans. While Democrats are trying to hit at potential divisions between tea party activists and conventional Republicans, Huckabee said voters don’t care about that. Instead they are fed up with a federal government that has overreached. He believes voters will correct that on Election Day and Republicans will retake the House and have a “real shot” at taking the Senate and a majority of the governors.

“It’s because the intensity of the Republican voter is just on fire,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Huckabee spoke to the crowd of about 600 for about 35 minutes at Ceruti’s Summit Park.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mike Pence: GOP Agenda To Include Social Issues



Chris Dickson

Mike Pence has led the campaign to ensure social issues would not be ignored. | AP Photo Close

An election year agenda being unveiled by House Republicans Thursday will include language affirming the party's support of "traditional marriage" and its opposition to abortion rights, House GOP sources tell POLITICO.

The document, to be unveiled at a hardware store in Sterling, Va., will include "a commitment to life and a commitment to marriage," one source said. Two other sources cautioned that the language on marriage is likely to be in the preamble to a series of legislative goals and that an effort to put a bill along the lines of the Defense of Marriage Act into the package was rebuffed.

House Republicans had a spirited debate behind closed doors about the degree to which social issues should be included in the new agenda, and social conservatives have been pressing for the GOP to be more explicit in putting social issues in writing on this 2010 agenda.

Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), winner of a 2012 presidential straw poll at the recent conservative Values Voters conference, led the campaign to ensure social issues would not be ignored. Some others believed that the plan should focus more narrowly on fiscal and security issues that unite a broader swath of the GOP.

The decision to at least affirm opposition to abortion and gay marriage appears to represent a compromise between the factions.

House Republicans will be able to review the new agenda this afternoon, after which they will discuss it at a conference meeting. Republican leaders will unveil it to the public Thursday morning.

Read more:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pence on the Presidency: Pluperfect



Chris Dickson

Fresh off coming in first place in the presidential preference poll at the Values Voters Summit this past weekend, Mike Pence tonight is making a speech on the nature and conduct of the presidency at Hillsdale College. We at the Spectator secured an advance copy of it, and it is powerful stuff. It is thoughtful, wise, eloquent, inspirational, and timely. It also takes some barely veiled, beautifully targeted shots at the current occupant of the Oval Office. The theme is that the presidency is not an office for a ruler, but for a servant; not for somebody to "transform" us, but for somebody who will listen to us and work for us, to make our visions a reality rather than to impose his vision on us. Obviously, this is not what one B.H. Obama is doing, or at least trying to do.

What the nation says -- the theme of this address -- What it says, informed by its long history, impelled by the laws of nature and nature's God -- What it says quite naturally and rightly, if not always gracefully, is that we as a people are not to be ruled and not to be commanded. 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 work his will upon us, but to bear the weight of decision and to carry out faithfully the design laid down in the Constitution and impassioned by the Declaration of Independence.


The presidency has run off the rails. It begs a new clarity, a new discipline, and a new president. The president is not our teacher, our tutor, our guide or 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, law and beliefs; to appropriate industries; to seize the country, as it were, by the shoulders or by the throat so as to impose by force of theatrical charisma his justice upon 300 million others. It is neither his job nor his prerogative to shift the power of decision away from them, and to him and the acolytes of his choosing.

Take that, Barack!

While most of Pence's best passages are paragraph, a few pithy sentences stand on their own. They stand well because they are rooted in the best of American values. For instance: "The powers of the presidency are extraordinary and necessarily great, and great presidents treat them sparingly." And: "A president who slights the Constitution is like a rider who hates his horse: he will be thrown, and the nation along with him."And: "The sun will burn out, the Ohio River will flow backwards, and the cow will jump over the moon 10,000 times before any modern president's conception is superior to that of the Founders of this nation."

And, stirringly, on America's prudential place in the world, as oft by example as by direct engagement, but always steadfast: "We can still astound the world with justice, reason and strength."

But what am I doing by doling this out in dribs and drabs? Here, yes here, is the whole speech. Read the whole thing and marvel. Maybe Mike Pence will run for the presidency in 2012, or maybe not. But he definitely belongs in the conversation for it, and as a potential leading light among the candidates. And even if he does not run, the other candidates should call upon his eloquence and his wisdom.

To Rep. Pence, we should all say: Good job, good sir. Good job.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Senator Dick Lugar: Mike Pence for House Speaker

Lugar: If GOP Wins Congressional Majority, 'Who Will Be Our Newt?'

Published August 13, 2010


Indiana Republican Sen. Dick Lugar is questioning whether a would-be Republican majority in Congress has the leadership to deal with a stymied President Obama the way former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was able to forge a working relationship with President Bill Clinton.

Speaking at an Excellence in Public Service Series luncheon that he hosts, Lugar told an audience Thursday in Indianapolis that he's confident Obama will be out of the White House in 2012, but a GOP-led majority in Congress would still have to deal with the Democratic president for two years if it wins in November.

Given that scenario, the Republicans "had better have ideas," he said, according to the Evansville Courier Press. They also better have a leader, he warned, noting that he is not confident House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio or Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell can fill Gingrich's shoes.

"The question is, how creative will Republicans be in the face of this? If we get the majority, will there be the sort of negotiations that occurred between Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton, for example?" he asked. "And if so, who is going to be our Newt?"

After Democrats lost the congressional majority in 1994, Gingrich took the helm in Congress. He is credited with working with then-President Clinton to get passed several tenets of the Republican "Contract With America," the program on which the GOP campaigned in the 1994 election.

But the Republicans are more diffuse in their program pronouncements in 2010, and Lugar reportedly said that the GOP "had better begin thinking in the next 13 weeks about what we are going to do."

The Courier Press reported that Lugar suggested that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, whose proposals have been largely overlooked, even by him, may have the chops to lead the party in ideas and courage to reduce spending. He also suggested fellow Indianan, Rep. Mike Pence, has the creativity and ability to advocate.

Regardless who is the GOP leadership, Lugar, who's vying for a seventh term and recently voted to confirm Obama's Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan and approve a $26 billion small business aid bill, said members better act fast.

"Come January, the public will anticipate something or they will become extremely angry and frustrated," Lugar reportedly said. "They will say, you know, once again, we have been failed by the elections, by people who claimed our support."

Click here to read more from the Evansville Courier Press.

Mike Pence to POTUS: Give Credit Were Credit is Due

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

President Bush and U.S. troops persevered while others sniped

By Rep. Mike Pence


August 30, 2010

As the combat mission in Iraq draws to a close for the United States and the president prepares to address the nation tonight, the Obama administration is attempting to rewrite history by taking singular credit for our accomplishments in Iraq. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. recently claimed it was President Obama who laid out the plan for a responsible end of the war in Iraq. But that's not the whole story.

As we mark this milestone, let us remember the real history of Operation Iraqi Freedom and give credit where credit is due - to the American service members, their families and a commander in chief who would not accept defeat in the face of withering criticism at home and abroad.

Seeing U.S. combat forces leaving with success is chiefly the result of the professionalism and sacrifices of our military in executing the surge and the Status of Forces Agreement implemented before Mr. Obama set foot in the Oval Office.

First, our brave men and women in uniform deserve our nation's deepest gratitude. With great valor, they manned the front lines of the war on terror and achieved a stable and successful conclusion to our combat operations in Iraq. We commemorate the more than 4,000 American troops who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Their names will forever be enshrined on the hearts of the people of two grateful nations. For their families, the war in Iraq will never end, and we pray that God comforts them with the knowledge that the sacrifice they endured was not in vain.

We also commend the many more who suffered life-altering injuries in the course of their courageous service. All of the men and women who served under the American flag in Operation Iraqi Freedom have made us safer, and they have made us proud.

Our troops went to Iraq as part of a strong multinational force that executed one of the swiftest military advances in history. In a remarkably short time, they liberated the Iraqi people from a brutal dictatorship, and the world watched the celebrations in Baghdad.

Those early accomplishments did not bring a swift end to the conflict in Iraq. Vicious terror and military attacks continued against our troops and innocent civilians. But President George W. Bush recognized the long-term danger of abandoning an unstable Iraq, although many of his political opponents here at home did not. While Republican leaders like Rep. John A. Boehner were saying "victory is the only option," leading voices in the Democratic Party took a starkly different approach.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that "this war is lost," and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asserted, "This is not the way to go. It has failed." Both advocated a premature withdrawal and timetables that would have ensured defeat and consigned the Iraqi nation to a future in the hands of radical insurgents.

Early in 2007, amid growing violence in Iraq, Mr. Bush acted on the advice of commanders on the ground and embraced a new strategy that came to be known as the "surge." When I met with Mr. Bush days before he announced the strategy, he told me and a handful of other congressional leaders that he had "decided not to lose." He told us he was implementing a new strategy on the ground with new commanders and was determined to give victory one more chance.

Despite public opposition and criticism in the press, Republicans in Congress stood with our soldiers, again and again, supporting the surge and providing the resources they needed to complete the mission.
House Democrats voted 11 times to implement artificial timetables and tried repeatedly to impose unrealistic conditions on military funding that would have amounted to cutting the funds to our troops in Iraq. They were ready to forsake the fledgling security efforts of Iraq's own forces and abandon an infant democracy to the embrace of brutal terrorists.

As senators, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were among the voices calling for a premature withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. To make their point, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden even voted to deny necessary funding for our troops. They also voted 10 times to impose a dangerous timetable for withdrawal that only would have increased the resolve of our enemies.

It also is important that history record that then-Sen. Obama opposed the surge strategy as soon as it was announced. He claimed that instead of reducing violence, the surge would make things worse and no amount of additional troops on the ground would "make a substantial difference." After Mr. Bush's 2007 State of the Union speech, Mr. Obama told an interviewer, "I don't think the president's strategy is going to work."

Despite the fact that it was obvious by late 2007 that violence in Iraq was declining, Mr. Obama and other leaders of his party refused to recognize the progress. In November 2007, Mr. Obama argued that the United States had "not seen improvements, but we're actually worsening, potentially, a situation there."

The simple fact is that Mr. Reid, Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Obama were wrong about the surge and wrong to oppose it.

This administration didn't even set in motion the agreement leading to today's withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq. Before Mr. Bush left office, his administration negotiated a Status of Forces Agreement that was approved by the government of Iraq in December 2008. This agreement set in motion the drawdown of American troops from combat operations in Iraq. On Jan. 1, 2009, before Mr. Obama took office, the United States gave control of the Green Zone and Saddam Hussein's presidential palace to the Iraqi government.

Today, Iraq is experiencing a higher level of stability and security, but our mission there is far from over as our military shifts to an advise-and-assist role. Thousands of American soldiers will remain in Iraq and will need the continued support of this administration and Congress as they assist the Iraqi people in achieving lasting security.

I am grateful for the support the Obama administration has shown our troops in Iraq, but its long-standing opposition to our military's successful surge strategy must not be forgotten in the midst of this widening American success. The truth is, this successful transition is due to the brave service of our troops and a commander in chief who supported the military's strategy in the face of intense domestic opposition.

As the president addresses the nation tonight, let's hope he gives credit where credit is due: to the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who wrought stability from tyranny and terrorism in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and, for once, let's hope the president gives credit to a predecessor who refused to accept defeat.

Rep. Mike Pence is chairman of the House Republican Conference.