U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, appeared on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace. See text below the video:
Excerpts from this morning’s interview:
Host Chris Wallace: Congressman Pence, what’s the message from last night and what about those Democrats from conservative districts who ended up voting for the bill? Are you going to make them pay in the next election?
Rep. Mike Pence: Chris, I think the message from last night is that Democrats didn’t get the message in August or last Tuesday. I think from this past summer we saw the American people express overwhelming opposition to a government takeover of health care. They attended town hall meetings and rallies across the country, and then this last Tuesday, the historic reversals that Democrats saw in just twelve months in New Jersey and Virginia. Again, was an effort by the American people to send a message to this party that they are tired of the borrowing, the spending, the bailouts, the takeovers. But last night, on a narrow partisan vote, the Democrats put their liberal big-government agenda ahead of the American people.
Rep. Pence: I think the American people are deeply frustrated with a liberal establishment in Washington D.C. that is ignoring their will. Nancy Pelosi, last night said, that they were “answering the call of history.” I got to tell you, if Democrats keep ignoring the American people, their party is going to be history in about a year.
Rep. Pence: The Democrats took runaway federal spending under Republican control and put it on steroids. The American people are tired of the borrowing, the spending, the bailouts, the takeovers.
Host Wallace: Congressman Pence, hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes, new mandates on small business, is that what you want when you got 10.2 percent unemployment?
Rep. Pence: Well the truth is, when you’re in a hole, Chris, the first rule is: stop digging. Chris [Van Hollen] is absolutely right, this economy was in shambles when this president came to power. They passed a so-called “stimulus” bill that was nothing more than a liberal wish list of spending priorities, that has now taken us from 7.5 percent unemployment to a heart-breaking 10.2 percent unemployment nationally. But the Democrats in Washington are still, again, ignoring the American people. They are unwilling to reconsider this approach. They think that we can borrow, spend and bail our way back to a growing economy. On top of this, they drop a massive national energy tax they pass along party lines.
But to your point, $729 billion in tax increases. Congressman Boren, one of his Democrat colleagues said, “The last thing you do in a recession is raise taxes and that’s just what this health care bill does.” It was the wrong thing to do and the American people know it.