Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence, who is considering a bid for president, will seek to position himself as a tried-and-true fiscal conservative sharply critical of both government growth and Wall Street excesses in a speech on Monday.
The speech at the Detroit Economic Club marks Pence's first major address since resigning from his post at House Republican Conference chair to focus on pursuing another political office. Pence has yet to say whether he'll mount a long-shot presidential run or seek to be Gov. Mitch Daniels' (R-Ind.) successor.
In his prepared remarks, Pence espouses taking strong action to reduce the size of government and opposes any government action into the private sector. He also outlines his support for a flat tax in the speech.
"To restore American exceptionalism, we must end all this Keynesian spending and get back to the practice of free market economics," Pence will say. "The free market is what made America's economy the greatest in the world, and we cannot falter in our willingness to defend it."
The speech sounds awfully like a candidate preparing for a presidential run, and shows where Pence may see an opening in the 2012 field - as the leading fiscal conservative without Wall Street ties (a la Romney). In the speech, he touts his support of tax and spending cuts and reminds the audience of his opposition to bailouts during his tenure in the House - framing his decisions to back Main Street over Wall Street.
"In September 2008, when the Bush Administration proposed that Congress give them $700 billion to bail out Wall Street, I was the first Member of Congress to publicly oppose it," Pence will say. "I didn't think we should do nothing, I just thought it was wrong to take $700 billion from Main Street to bailout bad decisions on Wall Street."