There’s been a lot of griping about the quality of the 2012 Republican field. But Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, chair of the House GOP conference, is holding out hope that things will change.
“I think competition is a good thing. I think this field is going to get larger,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday. “...I'm looking for that man or woman that is willing to embrace a broad, mainstream, conservative agenda without apology. And I'm confident we'll produce that kind of nominee.”
(PICTURES: Meet the 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls)
Perhaps, he indicated in response to a question, that person is Sarah Palin. Despite a late entry into the race, he said she would be “a force to reckon with in the Republican primaries” if she chose to throw her hat in the ring.
Pence also weighed in on the negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. He’ll head to the White House on Wednesday morning with House Republicans to meet with President Obama, where the lawmakers are expected to reiterate their calls for big spending cuts.
And despite reports from the Congressional Budget Office that $38 billion in cuts negotiated just before a government shutdown in April amounted to real savings of only $300 million, Pence predicted the Republicans would “do better” on the debt-ceiling vote. And he declined to blame House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, for the outcome of the last round of negotiations.
“I think Speaker Boehner fought hard in those negotiations. It's awful hard for me to be critical of a basketball player who was double-teamed all night like John Boehner was,” he said.
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