House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence appeared on CNN's Larry King Live last night. Pence told King Obama's tougher rhetoric on Iran was "better late than never." View the clip here.
A few transcribed excerpts:
LARRY KING: As a follow up to Senator McCain, we are joined by Congressman Mike Pence; he’s in Washington - Republican of Indiana, Chairman of the Republican Conference and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. And in London, Jamie Rubin who served as an Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs in the Clinton Administration and is now adjunct professor at Columbia. Congressman Pence, your comments on the President today and Senator McCain’s response.
REP. MIKE PENCE: Well, let me say as one of what became an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House and Senate that wanted the United States to make a stronger statement condemning the violence on the streets in Iran and also expressing support for the Iranian citizens who are standing up for freedom and basic human rights. I certainly welcome the President's stronger tone today. You know, better late than never, Larry. And I'm glad the President stepped up to the podium personally today and expressed his profound concern about the violence and to use his terms, I'm glad that he at least bore witness to the bravery and the courage of those citizens on the streets of Iran.
KING: What now? What do we do? Obviously the two sides are stated well. The President came a little closer to the other side. What's next?
REP. PENCE: Well, I think what's next; it's a couple of things. There does seem to be in the President's remarks today still something of a disconnect within the Administration about what's actually going on in Iran. The President used the word “choose” today; he said that it was ultimately up to the people of Iran to decide their future. Larry - and Jamie, I'm sure would acknowledge this - there’s no choosing going on, no ability of the Iranian people to decide their future. This is a tyrannical regime that is enforcing the outcome of an election according to the dictates of their will. So I think, first, it would be important for the Administration to begin to speak very plainly on the world stages, other world leaders have about the fraudulent nature of this election. And secondly, I appreciate Jamie acknowledging Congress having a role, the House and Senate having spoken clearly in support of the Iranian people that are standing up for freedom. But I do think it also now, if Iran does not relent, it would be important for Congress to move forward with a variety of measures that would put additional economic pressure and economic sanctions on Iran in the immediate future.
KING: And we will have both of these gentlemen back. I'm sorry -- time issues here.
REP. PENCE: You bet, Larry. I just think it's important that America speak on the world stage on behalf of our ideals and I'm glad that Congress in a bipartisan way did that overwhelmingly last week, and I welcome the President's stronger statement today.