Saturday, July 16, 2016
Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, a choice that was greeted with enthusiasm by the Republican establishment and social conservatives. At a rally in New York City, Trump officially introduced Pence as his vice presidential pick.
Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, one of six children of Nancy Jane (née Cawley) and Edward J. Pence, Jr., who ran a string of gas stations. His family were Irish Catholic Democrats. His maternal grandfather was an immigrant from County Sligo, and his maternal grandmother's parents were from County Clare. He was named after his grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, a Chicago bus driver who came to the United States through Ellis Island.
Pence graduated from Columbus North High School in 1977. He earned a B.A. in History from Hanover College in 1981 and a J.D. from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986. While at Hanover, Pence joined the Phi Gamma Deltafraternity, serving as his chapter's president. After graduating from Hanover, Pence worked as an admissions counselor at the college from 1981 to 1983. After graduating from law school in 1986, Pence worked as an attorney in private practice. He ran unsuccessfully for a congressional seat in 1988 and 1990. He returned to his law practice following his second unsuccessful run. In 1991, he became the president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a self-described free-market think tank and a member of theState Policy Network.
Pence left the Indiana Policy Review Foundation in 1994, when he began a career in talk radio. He hosted The Mike Pence Show,which was based in WRCR-FM in Rushville. Pence called himself "Rush Limbaugh on decaf" since he considered himself politically conservative while not as outspoken as Limbaugh. The show was syndicated by Network Indiana and aired weekdays 9 a.m. to noon (ET) on 18 stations throughout the state, including WIBC in Indianapolis. From 1995 to 1999, Pence also hosted a weekend political talk show out of Indianapolis.
1988 and 1990 campaigns for Congress
In 1988, Pence ran for Congress against Democratic incumbent Phil Sharp. Pence lost the election to Sharp.
Pence ran again in 1990, against Sharp, quitting his job in order to work full-time in the campaign. Sharp won again. During the race, Pence used "political donations to pay the mortgage on his house, his personal credit card bill, groceries, golf tournament fees and car payments for his wife." While the spending was not illegal at the time, it reportedly undermined his campaign. After the 1990 defeat, he ran "a statewide apology tour".
During the 1990 campaign, Pence ran an ad in which an actor, dressed in a robe and headdress and speaking in a thick Middle Eastern accent, thanked his opponent for doing nothing to wean the United States off imported oil as chairman of a House subcommittee on energy and power. In response to criticism, Pence's campaign responded that the ad was not about Arabs, it was about Sharp's lack of leadership. In 1991, Pence published an essay, "Confessions of a Negative Campaigner", in which he apologized for running negative ads against Sharp.
U.S. House of Representatives, 2000–2012
Pence as a U.S. Congressman
In November 2000, Pence was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Indiana's 2nd Congressional District after six-year incumbent David M. McIntosh (1995–2001) opted to run forgovernor of Indiana. The district (renumbered as the 6th District beginning in 2002) comprises all or portions of 19 counties in eastern Indiana. Pence was re-elected four more times by comfortable margins. In the 2006 House elections, he defeated Democrat Barry Welsh.
On November 8, 2006, Pence announced his candidacy for leader of the Republican Party (minority leader) in the United States House of Representatives. Pence's release announcing his run for minority leader focused on a "return to the values" of the 1994 Republican Revolution. On November 17, Pence lost to Representative John Boehner of Ohio by a vote of 168–27–1 (the one vote went to Representative Joe Barton of Texas).
Pence defeated Reverend Barry Welsh in the 2008 House election. In January 2009, Pence was elected by his GOP colleagues to become the Republican Conference Chairman, the third-highest-ranking Republican leadership position. He ran unopposed and was elected unanimously. He was the first representative from Indiana to hold a House leadership position since 1981. In 2008, he was listed as one of the top ten legislators by Esquire magazine.
In 2010, Pence was encouraged to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Evan Bayh. According to Rasmussen polling done on January 21 and 24, 2010, Pence led Bayh by a three point margin. On January 26, 2010, in an open letter to friends and supporters through his Facebook page, Pence announced his decision not to run for the Senate; he cited his role in the Republican leadership and the belief that Republicans would win back the House in 2010 as his reasons for staying in the House of Representatives.
2012 campaign for Indiana governor
After the November 2010 election, Pence announced that he would not run for re-election as the Republican Conference Chairman. On May 5, 2011, Pence announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana in 2012.
Pence served as the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House Republicans, from 2005 to 2007.
His committee assignments in the House were the following:
110th Congress (2007–2009): Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Select Committee to Investigate the Voting Irregularities of August 2, 2007
During Pence's twelve years in the House, he introduced 90 bills and resolutions; none became law.
Abortion and Planned Parenthood
Pence began seeking to defund Planned Parenthood in 2007, by introducing legislation aimed at preventing any organization that provides abortion services from receiving Title X funding.
Pence was a co-sponsor of H.J.Res.73, a 2011 spending limit amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment would limit federal spending to "the average annual revenue collected in the three prior years, adjusted in proportion to changes in population and inflation." In regards to adopting the gold standard, Pence stated in 2011, "the time has come to have a debate over gold and the proper role it should play in our nation’s monetary affairs".
Then-U.S. Representative Pence (third from left) standing behind then-Governor Mitch Daniels at a press conference in Martinsville, Indiana
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. On occasion, however, Pence secured earmarks for projects in his district.
In June 2006, Pence unveiled an immigration plan (which he described as "no Amnesty immigration reform") that would include 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 received support from conservatives such as Dick Armey, but attracted criticism from other conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly, Richard A. Viguerie, and Pat Buchanan, who viewed Pence as lending "his conservative prestige to a form of liberal amnesty."
During the Iraq War, Pence opposed setting a public withdrawal date from Iraq. During an April 2007 visit to Baghdad, Pence andJohn McCain visited Shorja market, the site of a deadly attack in February 2007, that claimed the lives of 61 people. Pence and McCain described the visit as evidence that the security situation in Iraqi markets has improved. The visit to the market took place under large security including helicopters overhead, and the New York Times reported that the visit gave a false indication of how secure the area was due to the extremely heavy security forces protecting McCain.
Pence chaired the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and was a prominent supporter of George W. Bush's Iraq War troop surge of 2007. At the time, Pence stated that "the surge is working" and defended the initial decision to invade in 2003.
Pence has opposed closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and trying the suspected terrorists in the U.S. Pence believes that "the Obama administration must overturn this wrongheaded decision". As an alternative, Pence has said that the "enemy combatants" should be tried in a military tribunal.
Pence 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". He visited Israel in 2014 to express his support, and in 2016 signed into law a bill which would ban Indiana from having any commercial dealings with a company that boycotts Israel.
Two weeks prior to the NATO intervention in Libya, Pence thanked the Obama administration and Secretary of State Clinton for their efforts to isolate the Gaddafi regime. Pence expressed support for "a no-fly zone" and stated that "Qadhafi must go".
Pence opposed the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Medicare Part D).
In 2001, Pence wrote an op-ed arguing against additional government regulation of tobacco and the corresponding increase in the size of government and encroachment on private lives. He stated that “despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill.” Pence asserted, "2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer," while acknowledging that "smoking isn't good for you" and people who smoke should quit.
During his tenure in the House, Pence voted for several trade deals.
Views on homosexuality
In 2000, Pence stated "Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexual's as a discreet and insular minority entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities." He called for "an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus" and instead advocated for resources to be directed toward Conversion therapy programs.
Pence has said that homosexuals should not serve in the military, saying, "Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion" and in 2010 stated that repealing Don't ask, don't tell would "have an impact on unit cohesion." Pence opposed the 2009 Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, saying that Barack Obama wanted to "advance a radical social agenda" and said that pastors "could be charged or be subject to intimidation for simply expressing a Biblical worldview on the issue of homosexual behavior."
Pence opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions. While in the House, he said that "societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family". He has advocated a constitutional same-sex marriage ban but did not champion such a proposed ban for his first year as governor.
In 2001, Pence wrote "Global warming is a myth," saying, incorrectly, that "the earth is actually cooler today than it was about 50 years ago". In 2009 he told Chris Matthews that there was a "growing skepticism in the scientific community about global warming."
In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana coast, Pence favored offsetting the costs of the hurricane with $24 billion in other spending reductions.
Pence is an advocate of federal restrictions of online gambling. In 2006, he and 34 others members of the House cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte–Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.
Pence was mentioned by MSNBC as a possible candidate for President of the United States in 2008 and 2012. In September 2010, Pence was the top choice for president in a straw poll conducted by the Values Voter Summit.
After the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Affordable Care Act on June 28, 2012, Pence, in a closed-door meeting, said that the ruling upholding the health care law was similar to the September 11 terrorist attacks. He immediately apologized for making the statement.
Main article: Indiana gubernatorial election, 2012
On May 5, 2011, Pence announced that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana in 2012.Incumbent Republican Governor Mitch Daniels was term-limited. On November 6, 2012, Pence won the gubernatorial election,defeating Democratic nominee John R. Gregg and Libertarian nominee Rupert Boneham.
Governor Mike Pence speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 27, 2015
Pence made tax reform, namely a 10% income-tax rate cut, a priority for 2013. While he did not get the 10% cut he advocated, Pence did accomplish his goal of cutting state taxes. Legislators cut the income tax by 5% and also killed the inheritance tax. Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said of the deal, "What we ended up doing was putting together a collective tax package that results in the largest tax cut in our state’s history, about $1.1 billion dollars."
On June 12, 2013, the Indiana legislature overturned Pence's veto of a bill that would retroactively authorize a local tax. Lawmakers overrode the governor's veto in a 68–23 vote in the House and a 34–12 one in the Senate. With an interesting twist, Republican legislators overwhelmingly voted against Pence, while most Democrats supported his veto. The Jackson–Pulaski tax fix, one of three bills vetoed by the Governor during the session, addressed a 15-year-old county income tax which had been imposed to fund the construction of jail facilities with the stipulation that the tax be lowered by 1% after the first several years. The reduction was not implemented and thus county residents paid an additional 1% tax that they were legally not required to pay. The bill, which was passed by a huge majority of legislators and subsequently vetoed by Pence, allowed money to be kept and not returned to the tax payers as would have otherwise been necessary.
Pence's communications director, Christy Denault, said that he "stands by [his] veto and regret[s] that it was not upheld by theIndiana General Assembly today. While this bill contained some positive provisions, the Governor believes that when Hoosiers pay taxes that are not owed, they should be offered relief. Hoosiers can be assured that Governor Pence and his administration will continue to put taxpayers first." Republicans argued that the veto itself would be unfair for taxpayers as state tax payers had to make up the money spent on calculating refunds to the tax payers in Jackson and Pulaski Counties. The bill also included tax breaks and benefits for veterans and veteran families that many legislators were unwilling to see vetoed. "Sustaining this veto will be a tax increase on the innocent spouses of disabled (and) deceased veterans, a tax increase through no fault of their own," said Republican District 7 State Senator Brandt Hershman. "Sustaining the veto will be a vote against the innocent taxpayers in Pulaski and Jackson counties who still regardless of our action here ... have to fund a jail."
In June 2013, Pence was criticized for deleting comments of others posted on his official government Facebook page; he apologized.
In 2014, Pence called for the "swift adoption" of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), urging Indiana's congressional delegation to support the trade deal.
Since December 2014, there has been an HIV outbreak in Southern Indiana. Pence had long been a vocal opponent of needle exchange programs, which allow drug users to trade in used syringes for sterile ones in order to stop the spread of diseases, despite evidence that they work. Since March 2015, he has allowed at least five counties to open needle exchanges but hasn’t moved to lift the state ban on funding for needle exchanges.
Mike Pence at the 500 Festival Parade in Indianapolis, 2015
On January 26, 2015 it was widely reported that Pence had planned to launch a state-run, taxpayer-funded news service for Indiana. The service, called "JustIN" was to be overseen by a former reporter for The Indianapolis Star, and would feature breaking news, stories written by press secretaries, and light features. At the time, it was reported that the two employees who would run the news service would be paid a combined $100,000 yearly salary. The target audience was small newspapers that had limited staff, but the site would also serve to communicate directly with the public. The idea was met with revulsion both by small Indiana newspapers and by the national news media. The publisher of the Portland Commercial Review said, "I think it's a ludicrous idea ... the notion of elected officials presenting material that will inevitably have a pro-administration point of view is antithetical to the idea of an independent press." Many news stories compared the new JustIN service to state-run news agencies in Russia, China, and North Korea. There was speculation that the news service would publish pro-administration stories that would make Pence look good in the event of a presidential run.
It was especially surprising coming from Pence, because of his history in radio and his former role as a media advocate in Congress, when he supported shield laws protecting confidentiality of media sources and opposed the Fairness Doctrine, which would have given the government more control over political speech. The Atlantic regarded the announcement of JustIN as evidence of a disturbing changing trend in how the public gets news. After a week or so of controversy about the idea, Pence scrapped the idea saying, "However well-intentioned, after thorough review of the preliminary planning and careful consideration of the concerns expressed, I am writing you to inform you that I have made a decision to terminate development of the JustIN website immediately."
Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Main article: Indiana SB 101
On March 26, 2015, Pence signed Indiana Senate Bill 101, also known as the Indiana "religious objections" bill (RFRA), into law.The law's signing was met with widespread criticism by people and groups who felt the law was carefully worded in a way that would permit discrimination against LGBT persons. Such organizations as the NCAA, the gamer convention Gen Con, and the Disciples of Christ spoke out against the law. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff condemned the law, with Salesforce.com saying it would halt its plans to expand in the state. Angie's List announced that they would cancel a $40 million expansion of their Indianapolis based headquarters due to concerns over the law. The expansion would have moved 1000 jobs into the state. The mayors of San Francisco and Seattle banned official travel to Indiana. Thousands protested against the policy. Five GOP state representatives voted against the bill, and Greg Ballard, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis, criticized it as sending the "wrong signal" about the state.
Pence repeatedly defended the law, stating that it was not about discrimination. In an appearance on the ABC News program This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Pence stated, "We are not going to change this law", while refusing to answer whether examples of discrimination against LGBT people given by Eric Miller of anti-LGBT group Advance America would be legal under the law. Pence denied the law permitted discrimination and wrote in a March 31, 2015, Wall Street Journal op-ed, "If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn't eat there anymore. As governor of Indiana, if I were presented a bill that legalized discrimination against any person or group, I would veto it."
In the wake of the backlash against the RFRA, on April 2, 2015, Pence signed legislation revising the law to prevent potential discrimination. Discrimination against LGBT individuals in employment, housing, and public accommodation remains legal, an issue that will be debated in the 2016 legislative session, and Pence has yet to endorse a proposed bill.
Balanced Budget Amendment
As governor, Pence has pressed for a balanced budget amendment to the state's constitution. He initially proposed the initiative in his State of the State address in January 2015. The legislation has passed the state Senate and is progressing through the House.
In 2015, Pence and the Obama administration agreed to expand Medicaid in Indiana, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. As part of the expansion, Pence negotiated modifications to the program for Indiana that included co-payments by participants. The co-payments are linked to healthy behaviors on the part of the participants, so that, for example, a participant who quit smoking would receive a lower co-payment. Participants can lose benefits for failing to make the payments.
As of March 2016, Pence has attempted unsuccessfully to prevent Syrian refugees from being resettled in Indiana. In December 2015, Pence stated that "calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional".
2016 re-election campaign
Main article: Indiana gubernatorial election, 2016
Pence ran for a second term as governor. He was unopposed in the May 3, 2016, Republican primary for governor. He was to face Democrat John Gregg, former Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, in a rematch of the 2012 race. However, Pence filed paperwork ending his campaign on July 15, 2016.
Donald Trump considered naming Pence as his Vice Presidential running mate along with other finalists Governor Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The Indianapolis Star reported July 14 that Pence will end his re-election campaign and accept the Republican vice presidential nomination instead. This was widely reported on July 14, 2016. The following day, Trump officially announced on Twitter that Pence will be his running mate.
Immediately after the announcement, Pence came out in favor of Trump's Muslim ban, reversing his earlier position that it was offensive and unconstitutional: "I am very supportive of Donald Trump's call to temporarily suspend immigration from countries where terrorist influence and impact represents a threat to the United States".
Pence, and his wife, Karen, speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Pence and his wife Karen Pence have been married since 1985. They have three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey. Pence, a former Roman Catholic, is a born-again Christian. During his service in the U.S. House, the Pence family lived in Arlington, Virginia, when Congress was in session.
Posted by Barbara at 12:53 PM