Mike Pence [2012]

Mike Pence [R-IN]
U.S. Representative, Indiana
Track Record
Challenging Jim Wallace (R) in the primary and John Gregg (D) for Governor

Mike Pence is the U.S. Representative for Indiana's 6th district, and previously the 2nd district, serving since 2001. He is the former Chairman of the House Republican Conference. After the 2010 election Pence said he would not run for re-election to Chairman of the Conference. On May 5, 2011, Pence officially announced that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana in 2012. Pence's announcement was anticipated by his resignation of his leading position in the GOP caucus in the House.

Mike Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana. He attended Columbus North High School, graduated from Hanover College in 1981, and earned his J.D. from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986. While at Hanover, Pence joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, serving as his chapter's president. Pence and his wife Karen have three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey. Michael is a student at Purdue University. The Pence family lives in Arlington, Virginia while Congress is in session. SOURCE


He is the former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House Republicans. He was succeeded in the 110th Congress by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). He has stated his support of Israel and its right to attack facilities in Iran to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons, has defended the actions of Israel in its use of deadly force in enforcing the blockade of Gaza and has referred to Israel as "America's most cherished ally" SOURCE

Was Israel's raid on Gaza Freedom Flotilla legal?
Israel says its raid on the so-called Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, which left nine activists dead, was a justified defense of its economic blockade of Gaza. Legal scholars aren't so sure. SOURCE

On the Issues
VoteMatch Responses 
(CLICK HERE for full answers)
  • Abortion is a woman's right - Strongly Opposes
  • Require hiring more women & minorities -  Strongly Opposes
  • Same-sex domestic partnership benefits -  Strongly Opposes
  • Teacher-led prayer in public schools -  Strongly Favors
  • Death Penalty - Neutral
  • Mandatory Three Strikes sentencing laws - Strongly Opposes
  • Absolute right to gun ownership - Strongly Favors
  • More federal funding for health coverage - Strongly Opposes
  • Privatize Social Security - Strongly Favors
  • Parents choose schools via vouchers - Strongly Favors
  • Replace coal & oil with alternatives - Strongly Opposes
  • Drug use is immoral: enforce laws against it - Strongly Favors
  • Allow churches to provide welfare services - Strongly Opposes
  • Make taxes more progressive - Strongly Opposes
  • Illegal immigrants earn citizenship - Strongly Opposes
  • Support & expand free trade - Favors
  • Expand the armed forces - Strongly Favors
  • Stricter limits on political campaign funds - Favors
  • The Patriot Act harms civil liberties - Strongly Opposes
  • US out of Iraq & Afghanistan - Strongly Opposes

Pence's Earmarks 
Pence was a supporter of earmark reform. He voted against the $139.7 billion Transportation-Treasury spending bill in June 2006, and in favor of a series of amendments proposed that same month by Jeff Flake that would strip other members’ earmarks from the federal budget. Pence, however, has in the past secured several of his own earmark projects. Pence earmarked $500,000 for the “Transit Acquisition and Intermodal Facility Project” in his state, as well as $250,000 for construction of a park in Portland, Indiana. Pence also secured earmarks for inclusion in a Labor-Health and Human Services 2007FY bill. This included $200,000 for both Ball State University’s Center for School Innovation in Muncie, Ind. and to the Madison County Community Health Center in Anderson Ind. Pence also secured $100,000 for Ivy Tech Community College in Columbus, Ind. When confronted with this, a spokesman for Pence’s confirmed the projects, stating, “Mr. Pence stands by his earmark requests." SOURCE


In June 2006, Pence unveiled a plan he describes as "no amnesty immigration reform" consisting of increased border security, followed by strict enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens, and a guest worker program. This guest worker program requires potential participants to apply from their home country to government-approved job placement agencies that match workers with employers who cannot find Americans for the job. The plan has received support from conservative leaders such as Dick Armey. Pat Buchanan described this as "stealth amnesty," claiming that it is merely a "one week vacation" for illegal immigrants to return to their home country to apply for jobs under the program. Others (Phyllis Schlafly and Tom Tancredo) have criticized Pence's plan. SOURCE
  • Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. (May 2004)
  • Voted YES on extending Immigrant Residency rules. (May 2001)
  • Rated 100% by FAIR, indicating a voting record restricting immigration. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 92% by USBC, indicating a sealed-border stance. (Dec 2006)
  • End Birthright Citizenship; no more anchor babies. (Apr 2009)
  • Declare English as the official language of the US. (Feb 2007)

Mike Pence on Immigration: In His Own Words
Therefore, the solution is to setup a system that will encourage illegal aliens to self-deport and come back legally as guest workers. This may sound outside of the box, and it is. It may sound far-fetched and unrealistic, but it isn’t. It is based on sound, proven conservative principles. It places reliance on American enterprise and puts government back into its traditional role of protecting its citizens. Let me explain to you how it will work.

Private worker placement agencies that we could call “Ellis Island Centers” will be licensed by the federal government to match willing guest workers with jobs in America that employers cannot fill with American workers. U.S. employers will engage the private agencies and request guest workers. In a matter of days, the private agencies will match guest workers with jobs, perform a health screening, fingerprint them and provide the appropriate information to the FBI and Homeland Security so that a background check can be performed, and provide the guest worker with a visa granted by the State Department. The visa will be issued only outside of the United States.

Outside of the United States. That is a key point because it is the provision that will require the twelve million illegal aliens to leave. Now, some of you are thinking to yourselves that twelve million people aren’t going to pack up and leave just to get a visa to come back legally. But, I believe most will. SOURCE
Taxes and Revenues

SOURCE [FactCheck.org] 
GOP Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana made a wildly false supply-side tax claim on ABC’s "This Week" — and repeated it even when disputed by Ronald Reagan’s former budget director, David Stockman:
Pence: David [Stockman] believes that every tax increase equals a revenue increase, but that’s not true. Anybody who is familiar with the historical data from the IRS knows that raising income tax rates will likely actually reduce federal revenues. … So if we raise taxes, the American people are very likely going to — the top 1 percent are going to send less money to Washington, D.C., and that will never get us out of this …

Stockman: I just have to respectfully disagree. … [I]t’s just common sense fact that, when you raise the rates, you get more revenue.

Pence: Raising income tax rates on the top 1 percent will not increase revenues to the federal treasury.
Pence is simply wrong here, as shown by what followed Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax increase, which fell almost entirely on the top 1 percent or 2 percent of earners. In fact, the result was a steady rise in federal revenues that ended only in 2001, the year that the first round of President Bush’s tax cuts took effect. 

The truth of Stockman’s "common sense fact" is illustrated by this graphic, which is derived from the historical budget data tables published by the Congressional Budget Office. SOURCE [FactCheck.org] 

Mike Pence protects the interests of the top 1% over and over again while advocating cuts in safety nets for the middle class and the poor.


On Meet the Press this morning, House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence reaffirmed House Republicans intention to privatize Social Security and Medicare.

David Gregory: What about entitlement spending? Are you going to raise the retirement age as John Boehner suggested might be a good idea on Social Security?

Mike Pence: … for Americans under the age of 40 we absolutely have to begin to reform Medicare and Social Security in ways that will ensure its long term fiscal solvency.

Reform = Privatize

When Republicans say they will “reform Medicare and Social Security” they mean that Republicans will privatize Social Security and dismantle Medicare:
  • In 2009, Boehner led 137 House Republicans who voted for a plan "that would eventually end the Medicare program as it is presently known," according to the Associated Press. The Republican plan would dismantle Medicare, turning it into a voucher program and forcing seniors to buy insurance on their own from private insurance companies. [Roll Call Vote #191, 4/2/09; Associated Press, 4/2/09]
  • Boehner-Ryan Plan Would Privatize Social Security and Dismantle Medicare. Under the Republican “Roadmap for America’s Future” that Boehner praises, “Medicare is privatized. Seniors get a voucher to buy private insurance, and the voucher's growth is far slower than the expected growth of health-care costs. Medicaid is also privatized… And beyond health care, Social Security gets guaranteed, private accounts that CBO says will actually cost more than the present arrangement” [Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, 2/1/10]
  • Republican Study Committee Supports Medicare Privatization. The 126 Member Republican Study Committee favors an approach similar to Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial plan to privatize Medicare by replacing it with private vouchers. [New York Observer, 2/6/10]
Rep. Pence: The Best Thing For The Unemployed Is Tax Cuts For Millionaires
December 01, 2010 10:38 am ET — Matt Finkelstein SOURCE

Unemployment benefits expired for millions of jobless Americans at midnight, marking the first time infour decades that Congress has failed to provide benefits with so many Americans out of work. Republican lawmakers who blocked an extension of benefits maintain that the country simply cannot afford to spend $12 billion on the unemployed, even as they fight to secure permanent tax cuts for the richest two percent of Americans, which will heap hundreds of billions on to the deficit.

On MSNBC's Morning Joe today, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) said that while he is "deeply sympathetic" to the plight of the unemployed, "we've got to make the cuts necessary to offset those costs." During the interview, Pence claimed that Republicans are "anxious to support" struggling Americans, "particularly in the holiday season." However, asked whether he would accept a compromise that paid for unemployment benefits by allowing tax cuts to expire only on income over $1 million, Pence insisted that the jobless are better off swallowing tax cuts for the very rich than receiving immediate relief.

Pressed further on his priorities by Time's Mark Halperin, Pence awkwardly joked that he's "not good at chess," before falling back on his talking points. "I think the minimum that we have to do right now for Americans that are struggling in unemployment in this economy is make sure that no American sees a tax increase," he said. 
HALPERIN: If your leaders came to you and said, "We have a deal with the White House. We're going to extend unemployment benefits, but the tax cuts for the people making over a million dollars a year will not be extended, but that helps to pay for it," would you take deal? Would you vote for that package?
PENCE: Look, I think the worst thing you could do for people that are struggling in this economy and looking for a job is raising taxes on any American. We don't wanna help with one hand and take away with another.
HALPERIN: Would you rather extend the tax cuts for every American, including those making over a million, or have the unemployment benefits extended if that's the choice?

PENCE: [Laughs] Yeah, good. This isn't a corner, but I feel the paint. You know? I'm good, nice move. I played chess with my son the other day and I lost, so, you know, I'm not good at this chess thing. [Laughs] Let me tell you, I think the minimum that we have to do right now for Americans that are struggling in unemployment in this economy is make sure that no American sees a tax increase. 

Pence also plugged his speech on Monday at the Detroit Economic Club, in which he advocated for a flat tax and a return to the gold standard. Former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett excoriated the speech yesterday, calling it a "hackneyed rehash" of "simplistic" ideas. "Mike Pence isn't ready for prime time," Bartlett concluded. "His proposals show no hint of understanding the true nature of our economic problems or any evidence that he has thought more than five minutes on what to do about them. The sad thing is that Pence at least spent five minutes; most other Republicans don't appear to have spent even that much."