Pence in Detroit: A campaign prelude?
Prominent House Republican Mike Pence has been frequently mentioned as a potential 2012 presidential candidate. On Monday, he played the part.
In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, a favorite campaign stop for many aspiring White House contenders, Pence pushed the idea of a flat tax, a rollback of regulatory standards and a constitutional amendment to limit spending to 20 percent of GDP.
“We must have a mechanism that forces Washington as a whole to make the hard choices necessary to reform our nation’s addiction to big spending and unsustainable entitlements,” Pence said, according to a prepared text of his speech.
The social conservative also said “our present crisis is not merely economic but moral in nature” and called for a renewed commitment to the institutions of traditional family and marriage.
The speech was sure to be a hit with the conservative activists and Tea Party followers who will play a big role in the 2012 Republican nominating fight.
Pence, elected to his sixth House term earlier this month, has been considered a likely candidate since he stepped down as chairman of the House Republican Conference after the election.
He was the winner of a presidential straw poll at the Values Voter summit in Washington in September, beating out more high profile conservatives like former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Photo credit: Reuters/Chris Keane (Pence speaks at a National Rifle Association meeting, May 14, 2010)