Congressman Mike Pence, the Indiana Republican most known for his desire to see the GOP return to its principles, spoke about issues facing his party last Wednesday at a Leadership Institute breakfast.
Comparing the GOP to a ship that has been and is continuing to veer off course in past years, Pence said it is time to think seriously about where [Republicans] are as a movement.
“When we look at the Republican movement that was minted 25 years ago when a Midwesterner who slummed in California for awhile brought the principles to the party; it is incumbent on us to ask where we are today and see if we need a course correction,” said Pence.
He commended the GOP for making good on many of the promises made back during the Contract with America, for helping promote freedom across the globe, for cutting taxes, “putting the brakes on liberal activist courts,” and ending partial-birth abortion. But the GOP has not fulfilled its promises to cut spending and reduce the size of government, said Pence, who believes “We need to say the era of big government is over.”
“We [Republicans] say ‘we’re working on it,’ ‘we have to have a majority,’ and ‘hang on, we’ll get to it,'” Pence said. “We are not a party bereft of ideas, we are a party bereft of will.”
Pence mentioned that the GOP creation of the first new entitlement program in years, the increased education spending, the intrusion of federal testing, a record deficit, and the accumulation of pork including 15,000 earmarks are all symptoms of this big government Republicanism that needs to end.
“The answer is not mutiny,” said Pence, because a Democratic Congress won’t be better, but we need to stop accepting the lie of big government that it is good if it is ours. We need to look at our compass and return to the principles of limited government, individual freedom and traditional moral values, said Pence.
During the very short question and answer time, Pence shared his views on immigration saying that we need to get tough on borders, get tough on employment enforcement and we need to shut the door. That way the American people can have a conversation about how to fix the immigration problems, but “without shutting the door, it will tsunami,” explained Pence.
He also expressed his belief that President Bush is a deeply sincere Christian and that he is conservative, but as Pence put it, he is not “a capital C ?Conservative” which is why some conservatives within the GOP have been upset with him.