Michael R. Pence
There was a spike in the national press interest on the subject of the Presidential ambitions of Mike Pencea in Octobe 2009 after U.S. Rep. Mike Pence wowed the annual conference of the Americans for Prosperity and scheduled a fundraising trip to South Carolina. It followed his appearance at the National Tea Party on the federal mall in August as well as speaking trips to Iowa and California. Roll Call noted that Pence’s campaign staff passed out small cards on the mall featuring his photo above the words “Mike Pence, Standing Strong.” The back of the card invited voters to “Join the Pence Team.”
Pence exhorted conservatives to rally against fiscal excess, telling the crowd that the U.S. is “on the verge of a great American awakening. It’s authentic and it’s real and it’s powerful and it’s American.” When pressed about his newly fueled presidential ambitions, Pence responded opaquely and with a chuckle: “I have no plans to run for president.” The Indiana political scene has long been abuzz about the future of Mike Pence. Allies in the 6th CD were tipping off HPI more than a year ago that he was seriously pondering a 2012 bid for governor. At the second inaugural of Gov. Mitch Daniels, Pence was at the Statehouse and met with family organizations. The logic of a potential Pence path to the White House also figured to run through the Indiana Statehouse. Modern Presidents Carter, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as both Roosevelts and Woodrow Wilson went from governorships to the presidency. President Nixon was temporarily derailed by a California gubernatorial loss. House members don’t have a clear path or much of a track record to the White House or the West Wing. Michael Richard Pence was the 48th Vice President of the United States. Michael Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, on June 7, 1959, one of six children born to Edward and Nancy Pence. As a young boy he had a front row seat to the American Dream. After his grandfather immigrated to the United States when he was 17, his family settled in the Midwest. The future Vice President watched his Mom and Dad build everything that matters – a family, a business, and a good name. Sitting at the feet of his mother and his father, who started a successful convenience store business in their small Indiana town, he was raised to believe in the importance of hard work, faith, and family.
Pence set off for Hanover College, earning his bachelor’s degree in history in 1981. While there, he renewed his Christian faith which remains the driving force in his life. He later attended Indiana University School of Law and met the love of his life, Second Lady Karen Pence.
After graduating, Pence practiced law, led the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, and began hosting The Mike Pence Show, a syndicated talk radio show and a weekly television public affairs program in Indiana. Along the way he became father to three children, Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey. Growing up in Indiana, surrounded by good, hardworking Hoosiers, Vice President Pence always knew that he needed to give back to the state and the country that had given him so much. In 2000, he launched a successful bid for his local congressional seat, entering the United States House of Representatives at the age of 40.
The people of East-Central Indiana elected Pence six times to represent them in Congress. On Capitol Hill he established himself as a champion of limited government, fiscal responsibility, economic development, educational opportunity, and the US Constitution. His colleagues quickly recognized his leadership ability and unanimously elected him to serve as Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee and House Republican Conference Chairman. In this role, the Vice President helped make government smaller and more effective, reduce spending, and return power to state and local governments.
During his time on Capitol Hill, Pence was among the Republicans who pushed for the repeal of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reforms. He also served as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In 2013, Vice President Pence left the nation’s capital when Hoosiers elected him the 50th Governor of Indiana. He brought the same limited government and low tax philosophy to the Indiana Statehouse. As Governor, he enacted the largest income tax cut in Indiana history, lowering individual income tax rates, the business personal property tax, and the corporate income tax in order to strengthen the State’s competitive edge and attract new investment and good-paying jobs. Due to his relentless focus on jobs, the state’s unemployment rate fell by half during his four years in office, and at the end of his term, more Hoosiers were working than at any point in the state’s 200-year history.
Mike Pence is a social conservative with congressional experience but also a history of generating controversy over policies critics called discriminatory.
Indiana Senate Bill 101 was signed into law 26 March 2015 by Governor Mike Pence, in the presence of leaders from different faiths. The bill was promoted mainly by conservative Christian groups and was based on a 1993 federal statute, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was initially meant to protect religious minorities. It grew out of the desire to safeguard a Native American ritual involving an outlawed psychedelic substance, the peyote plant. RFRA initially was meant to shield religious practices from government intrusion, but critics say Indiana lawmakers expanded it in a way that will allow businesses to turn away same-sex couples.
As Governor of Indiana, Vice President Pence increased school funding, expanded school choice, and created the first state-funded Pre-K plan in Indiana history. He made career and technical education a priority in every high school. Under Vice President Pence’s leadership, Indiana, known as “The Crossroads of America,” invested more than $800 million in new money for roads and bridges across the state. Despite the record tax cuts and new investments in roads and schools, the state remained fiscally responsible, as the Vice President worked with members of the Indiana General Assembly to pass two honestly balanced budgets that left the state with strong reserves and AAA credit ratings that were the envy of the nation.
Pence had led Indiana since 2013 and in early 2016 was locked in a tight race for re-election. His office championed his record of tax cuts, especially for businesses, as well as his work to push for smaller government.
Late in 2015 he ordered state agencies to suspend funding for groups that help refugees in Indiana, saying the measure would be in place until he got assurances that proper security procedures were in place. He was one of several state leaders who at that time tried to deter the settlement of Syrian refugees following terror attacks in Paris. A federal judge struck down the order in March 2016 calling it clearly discriminatory.
Pence initially endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz during the Republican primary process, but even in doing so praised Trump, saying the businessman "has given voice to the frustration of millions of working Americans with a lack of progress in Washington, D.C." After Trump secured the nomination in May, Pence pledged to campaign for him.
Pence’s record of legislative and executive experience, and his strong family values that prompted Donald Trump to select Mike Pence as his running mate in July 2016. Republican establishment figures generally welcomed the news that Pence will be Trump’s running mate, citing his reputation as a staunch traditional social conservative who could bring some stability to the ticket. House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the choice, citing Pence as someone who “makes a compelling case for conservatism.”
Several analysts agreed. “Pence will help Trump cozy up with traditional conservatives,” said John Hudak, a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “Pence helps a little bit more with social conservatives” than some of the other contenders and “offers some of the government ‘chops’ (expertise) that you typically look for in a candidate.”
The Clinton campaign issued a statement from campaign chairman John Podesta calling Pence "the most extreme pick in a generation" known for supporting economic policies that "favor millionaires and corporations over working families." Democrats also contend Pence is seen as a divisive figure in Indiana because he signed last year's Religous Freedom Restoration Act into law. Supporters said it was designed to maintain religious freedom while critics called it anti-gay rights.
The Pence pick as a clear effort by Trump to fully bind the Republican Party ahead of its convention, which begins Monday in Cleveland. “Pence may be the best possible pick for Trump under the circumstances,” said Larry Sabato, the Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Sabato said given Trump’s other contenders—Gingrich and Christie—Pence could “conceivably shore up some of Trump’s weaknesses among certain strands of the GOP base.”
But many pundits doubted Pence would have much success in drawing support from non-Republicans in the general election campaign. “He’s not somebody who appeals to independent voters or Democrats. He’s somebody who appeals to the factions of the Republican Party who are still nervous about Trump,” said Justin Buchler, a political scientist at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. The American people elected Donald Trump and Pence on November 8, 2016. Donald Trump and Mike Pence entered office on January 20, 2017.
Vice President Mike Pence urged Central American nations to help stop "illegal and dangerous migration," defeat gangs and transnational drug cartels, and end corruption. "This must end," said Pence on 15 June 2016, "and this will end." Pence planned to travel to Central and South America later this year as part of continuing U.S. outreach to the region. "Be assured, the United States is proud of our strong partnership with nations in the Northern Triangle. We are committed to strengthening that partnership so that we can continue to address the significant problems facing our neighborhood," Pence added.
Mike Pence took a big step towards his push to be president by forming a political action committee in May 2017. According to dailykos on 17 June 2017, "Republicans on Capitol Hill already operate as though Pence sits atop the party, and some have recently begun gossiping with a surprising lack of discretion about their expectation that the 71-year-old Trump will decline to seek reelection in 2020. What little buzz about President Pence exists in the GOP has less to do with impeachment than it does with speculation that Trump might simply tire of the White House and hand the reins to his deputy."
Democrat Senator Al Franken warned “Pence ran the transition and some of the very worst nominees, I felt — [EPA chief Scott] Pruitt, [Education Secretary Betsy] DeVos, [HHS Secretary Tom] Price, [Budget director Mick] Mulvaney — were Pence selections."
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