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December 27, 2010

Mike Pence: Fiscal Hawk, Socon

Commenters to the Barbour piece below note that we shouldn't let the media chose our candidates for us. It is in that spirit that I bring you the other big news story today about a probable GOP 2012 candidate: this Wall Street Journal puff-piece on Indiana Rep. Mike Pence.

Mr. Pence usually draws under 5% in voter surveys testing the emerging 2012 field. But the excitement he's stirred among a swath of conservatives—he won a straw poll at the prominent Values Voter Summit in September—points both to the fluidity of the 2012 lineup and the dearth of names rousing interest among the religious right, a dependable GOP voting bloc.

Mr. Bauer believes that if Mr. Pence ran, he would quickly build support among socially conservative voters. "The nomination battle would be very wide open without Mike," Mr. Bauer says, who is one of several activists urging Mr. Pence to join the nomination fight.

A former radio personality, the 51-year-old Mr. Pence became a darling among fiscal conservatives for opposing two of President George W. Bush's signature initiatives, the 2001 No Child Left Behind education act and the 2003 Medicare Part D drug benefit. He saw both as violating his party's small-government principles.

Mr. Pence favors reducing the size of the federal government, and even the power of the presidency. He wants to amend the Constitution both to ban abortions and to allow marriage only between men and women. He says increased security along the Mexican border must precede any immigration overhaul.

Not to be missed: the endorsement in the third paragraph from Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, who recently suggested that DADT repeal would lead to a new draft since no soldier wants to be molested in his sleep. Not kidding.

Pence has said he would make a decision on running for president next month, but he's also got a good shot at the Indiana governor's mansion. The current governor, Mitch Daniels, is term-limited (and planning his own run for the White House).

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:57 PM

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