|Governor of Indiana|
From: January 14, 2013-present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|U.S. Representative from Indiana's 6th District|
From: January 3, 2003-January 3, 2013
|U.S. Representative from Indiana's 2nd District|
From: January 3, 2001-January 3, 2003
Prior to being governor, Pence was one of the most conservative members of Congress, serving in the U.S. Representative from Indiana's 6th congressional district. In the 111th Congress, he served as Chairman of the House Republican Conference. Pence has also been a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Pence also has been a conservative talk radio host and an attorney.
Early in his life, Pence was strongly aligned with the Democratic Party and was a Roman Catholic. He volunteered for the party while in high school, and he voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980. When Pence was in college he became a born-again Christian through his future wife, Karen. After his conversion, his views shifted towards the right, and after the election of Ronald Reagan as president, Pence became a Republican as he was inspired by the Reagan's policies.
Pence graduated from Hanover College in 1981 with a B.A. in history, and he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University School of Law in 1986.
After graduation, Pence became a practicing attorney and started to get involved in politics, first "becoming a precinct committeeman for the Marion County Republican Party." He unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1988 and 1990, but "learned a valuable lesson in defeat" and "vowed to preach a positive message" after becoming disgusted by his negative attack ads.
Pence served as the president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation from 1991 to 1993. In 1994, he launched his own conservative talk radio show, and the next year he became a morning show host on television. Pence discontinued both programs in 1999, presumably in preparation for another run for Congress.
In October 2009 Pence defended conservative talk radio, saying:
"To suggest that men and women that are taking a stand for fiscal discipline and traditional values in the national debate today only speak for ‘grassroots activists’ is absurd. As evidenced by the hundreds of thousands that filled town hall meetings this summer and the nearly a million Americans who gathered here in Washington in September. Millions of Americans, Republicans, Democrats and Independents are worried about liberal social policies and runaway federal spending, deficit and debt.
So to my friends in the so-called ‘mainstream media’ I say, ‘conservative talk show hosts may not speak for everybody but they speak for more Americans than you do.’"
In 2000, Pence was elected to Congress and reelected in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. In 2005, he became chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group representing the most conservative members of the House. The next year, Pence unsuccessfully ran for House minority leader, losing to John Boehner. Pence served as the House Republican Conference Chair during the 111th Congress, which lasted from 2009-2011.
In Congress, Pence built a very conservative record, even opposing liberal Republican bills that would increase spending or the size of government, such as No Child Left Behind in 2001, and the Medicare expansion of 2002.
Governor of Indiana
Pence's successor, the conservative Mitch Daniels, had been effective in boosting the state's economy, and Pence continued his policies. The Indiana economy continued to improve, and Pence cut taxes by $1.1 billion in 2013, which was the largest tax cut in state history. In addition, Indiana has the seventh lowest tax burden or any state in 2013, and in 2014 Pence signed a law that will decrease the state corporate tax by 1.6 percent by 2021. While liberals expect tax cuts to increase budget deficits, by 2016 Indiana actually had a $2 billion surplus, and unemployment dropped by 3.4 percent since his term began.
Pence became nationally famous in 2015 for initially defending a new religious freedom law for Indiana businesses that would have enabled them to decline supporting the homosexual agenda, such as in being forced to bake a cake for homosexual couples. Ultimately Pence compromised based on intense pressure from the liberal media, by adding protection for sexual orientation into Indiana law. While many conservatives considered Pence's move a betrayal, subsequent events showed that Pence did stand up more against the homosexual agenda than virtually any other governor, including other Republicans such as Greg Abbott and Chris Christie.
2016 GOP Vice-Presidential nominee
Pence first endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination, but after businessman Donald Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee, Pence was chosen to be the VP nominee.
Pence debated Democrat VP nominee Tim Kaine on October 4, 2016, and he gave a much better performance than Kaine. This was despite the fact that Kaine interrupted Pence 70 times in the debate. Pence masterfully used his debating skills that he acquired from being a talk radio host while Kaine was hyper and sometimes hard to follow. Even the liberal mainstream media, which holds double standards and loves to bash conservatives, believed that Pence won.
Donald Trump won the election in a massive, historical upset.
Soon after the election, the conservative Pence replaced the moderate Chris Christie, who is facing serious allegations in a scandal, as the head of Trump's transition team. One of his first descisions as head was to remove every lobbyist, who had been appointed by Christie, from the team, in order to "drain the swamp" in Washington D.C. On the same day, the team announced that all Trump Administration officials would be placed under a five-year lobbying ban after leaving, which is much stricter than the ban by the transition team of the previous president, Barack Obama.
Pence describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order." His political views are strongly influenced by his faith and by Russell Kirk. Pence was an early supporter of the Tea Party movement.
- Mike Pence. Biography.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Eason, Brian (July 15, 2016). Trump's VP? 10 things to know about Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. IndyStar. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Graham, Jordan (September 8, 2016). Mike Pence explains how Ronald Reagan made him a Republican. The Orange County Register. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
- Pence: Rush, Beck speak for many. Politico. October 22, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- PENCE, Mike, (1959 - ). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- Boyle, Matthew (October 5, 2016). ‘Flawless’ Victory: Mike Pence Dominates Tim Kaine in Vice Presidential Debate. Breitbart. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- Agiesta, Jennifer (October 5, 2016). Pence edges Kaine in VP debate instant poll. CNN. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- Struyk, Ryan (October 5, 2016). Tim Kaine Interrupted Mike Pence 70 Times in Vice Presidential Debate. ABC News. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- Bradner, Eric (October 5, 2016). 5 takeaways from the vice presidential debate. CNN. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- Zurcher, Anthony (October 5, 2016). Pence v Kaine: Who won the vice-presidential debate?. BBC News. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- Trump wins presidency, defeats Clinton in historic election upset. Fox News. November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- Pence replaces Christie in Trump transition team shuffle. Fox News. November 11, 2016.
- Pence removing lobbyists from Trump transition team. Fox News. November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
- Jaffe, Alexandra (Novemer 16, 2016). Mike Pence Orders Lobbyists Be Removed From Transition Team. NBC News. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
- Arnsdorf, Isaac & Vogel, Kenneth P. (November 16, 2016). Trump team announces tough lobbying ban. Politico. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
- Phillips, Amber (October 4, 2016). Who is Mike Pence?. The Washington Post. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- McHugh, Katie (October 4, 2016). Mike Pence Mocks Media Coverage of Trump: ‘This Sh*t Really Is Fun to Watch’. Breitbart. Retrieved October 6, 2016.