INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Mike Pence said Friday he won’t observe Gov. Mitch
Daniels’ call for a “truce” on social issues as he runs his campaign to
succeed the Republican governor at the Statehouse in 2012.
A day after announcing his campaign for governor, the conservative,
five-term eastern Indiana congressman said he was looking forward to
discussing all of the issues that are important to Indiana voters.
“I believe this race should be about how we can move Indiana forward, and
make the priorities of the people of Indiana our priorities. And I think
that includes policies that will create good jobs, great schools for every
Hoosier child, safe streets and also strong families,” Pence told reporters
before headlining a fundraiser Friday evening for Republican city-county
council candidates in Indianapolis.
Daniels has advised Republicans to keep their focus on the economy and
observe a “truce” on social issues, drawing the ire of some social
conservatives, but even he has said he will sign restrictive abortion
legislation, making Indiana the first state to cut off all government
funding for Planned Parenthood.
Pence led a drive in Congress to block Planned Parenthood funding. His
conservative social and fiscal stands have made him a favorite among tea
party activists in Indiana, but Pence said he expects to draw support across
the political spectrum as he campaigns for the GOP nomination for governor
“We’ve enjoyed very broad support across eastern Indiana over the last 10
years among Republicans, independents and many Democrats. I think it’s
because people have seen me as an independent conservative voice.
“I’ve been willing to challenge the leadership and even the president of my
own party when I thought their policies were not in the broader interests of
taxpayers and future generations of Americans,” Pence said.
“I believe in limited government, I believe in fiscal responsibility, strong
defense and old-fashioned, traditional values, but I also believe it’s
important to respect people of divergent views,” he said.
Indiana Democratic Chairman Dan Parker said Pence’s values are too
conservative for Indiana.
“I’m not concerned that Mike Pence is going to get too much of a head start
because he’s the one that has the record that’s far, far out of the
mainstream,” Parker said Friday.
Parker said he expected a gubernatorial campaign announcement soon from
former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, state Senate Minority Leader Vi
Simpson or other top Democrats.
Pence, who plans to complete his sixth term in Congress, said he will
officially kick off his campaign at a historic farm in his hometown of
Columbus on June 11.