(Note: On Tuesday, Bloggers talked to Congressman Pence who is seeking to lead the Republican minority.)
Congressman Pence: Good afternoon, thank you for letting me join you this afternoon. I’m delighted to be among friends. Personally, I would begin this moment by professing profound gratitude to all of those in the room whose organization, institutions, and publications have written favorably about our effort from Human Events, I think was the first out of the box, with a strong endorsement from the Family Research Council and others. Frankly, it’s a very humbling thing for me to receive these encouragements that I have received. I am mindful of the proverb that a man is tested by the praise of his peers and so I will thank you and leave with a sense of un-deservedness despite the generous prose. Let me say emphatically, for just a few minutes, why I am not running and why I am running. I am not running because I think any of the current leadership failed to do a workman like job in the 109th Congress. I think Majority Leader John Boehner took on a thankless job in a difficult environment, and I believe that he is to be commended for the job he did. He is an honorable man; he is a conservative. I, like most members of the Republican majority, feel a great sense of gratitude to John Boehner and his family for the sacrifices that they made to stave off what could have been a much larger route on Election Day 2006.
I am running not because I think I am a better man than either John Boehner or Joe Barton; I’m running because I believe that I might just be the best man for the job of Minority Leader. When I look at Election Day 2006, while a difficult war in Iraq was a factor, while a litany of scandals was a factor, I believe that fundamentally the foundation of public confidence of Republican government was eroded by our departures from limited government, fiscal government and reform. I believe that to restore public confidence in our commitment to those Reagan ideas, we would do well to bring new faces and new voices to bear on the challenges we will face in the 110th Congress. I believe the role of the Minority Leader is one that is largely defined by communication. We simply have to have the ability and the credibility to speak to millions of Americans who cherish limited government and traditional moral values and win back their confidence as we go into Election Day 2008. With great respect to the other candidates, I think I may be the best candidate of the three to win back that public confidence.