Sunday, January 29, 2006

Pence Attacks Bush With A Friendly Smile

Ever showing his independence and willingness to speak his mind, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence (R), appearing on FOX News Sunday told host Chris Wallace what was on his mind, including harsh criticism of President Bush.

Repeating a line he used recently, Pence said he believes "Bush is conservative, but he is not a conservative." Translated, Pence says that he thinks Bush's heart is in the right place, but his record speaks otherwise. He cited two new federal programs started on Bush's watch, including No Child Left Behind and the Medicare prescription drug entitlement, both of which Pence and about two dozen other GOP members in the House opposed.

With tongue in cheek, Pence said he was pleased to learn that Bush would emphasize "fiscal restraint" in his upcoming State of the Union address. But if he's really serious, Pence wants Bush to join him in rewriting the Budget Act of 1974, which he argues made it easier for Congress to tax and spend more, and to fight for passage of a line item veto authority for the President.

On the Abramoff affair, Pence had some pointed advice to Bush concerning the White House photos of Bush and Abramoff and details about Abramoff's visits to the White House: Release them all. Quoting President Lincoln, Pence said "Give the people the facts and republican governance will be secured."

Pence ended his appearance on FOX New Sunday with a plug for his colleague Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), who Pence is supporting as the only outsider in the race to replace Tom DeLay as House Majority Leader.

What Pence has to say may not be music to the ears of many of his Republican colleagues, but you have to give the guy credit for speaking his mind.

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