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.




Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Congressman Mike Pence to stump for Pro-Life GOP contenders

Reclaiming the Republican Party
and the American Dream

Chris Dickson

by Alex Isenstadt


Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, the House GOP Conference chairman who has established a national conservative following, is intensifying his visibility on the campaign trail.

Pence held a Wednesday morning fundraiser for GOP attorney Todd Young, who is mounting a challenge to Democratic Rep. Baron Hill. It was one of a string of events Pence is holding for party contenders. Earlier this month, Pence held fundraisers for Indiana Republicans Jackie Walorski, Larry Buschon, Marlin Stutzman and Todd Rokita.

The Indiana congressman is preparing to take his campaign on the road. During September, he will headline events for a roster of GOP challengers in targeted races in the Rust Belt region. Pence is scheduled to make stops for Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st District, Jim Renacci in Ohio’s 16th District, Tom Ganley in Ohio’s 13th District, Keith Rothfus in Pennsylvania’s 4th District, Mike Kelly in Pennsylvania’s 3rd District, David McKinley in West Virginia’s 1st District and Andy Harris in Maryland’s 1st District.

Pence, a five-term congressman from eastern Indiana, has been widely mentioned as a future candidate for governor and has even been rumored as a potential 2012 presidential prospect. Earlier this year, he turned down an opportunity to run for the state’s vacant Senate seat.

While the Indiana Republican takes on an increasingly active role in the campaign’s final weeks, he is also padding the National Republican Congressional Committee’s treasury. On Wednesday, Pence cut the NRCC a $100,000 check, bringing his total in raised and contributed funds to the committee to more than $1 million.