A growing number of conservatives are calling for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to consider running for president in 2016, believing that while others claim to be Reaganesque, the former radio host and House GOP leader is the real heir to the throne.
“I really like Pence,” said Gary Bauer, president of American Values, a conservative family group and one-time presidential candidate.
“To many, many conservative leaders, he is the first choice,” said legendary Republican direct-mail fundraiser Richard Viguerie.
Pence has played down talk of a bid, but he raised his profile significantly this month when he took a well-publicized trade mission to Germany where he addressed several international issues, including the administration's decision to abandon a missile program in Eastern Europe.
In Berlin, he dismissed President Obama's sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine, insisting that the West needs to “respond with deeds more than words to strengthen our economic and strategic defenses."
Once home, he continued to speak on broad issues like the Keystone XL oil pipeline and Common Core education standards, which Indiana just bowed out of, winning high grades from conservative presidential watchers.
“I do buy into the idea that it's likely to be a governor” who the Republicans pick as the 2016 presidential nominee, said Bauer. “And when i look at the governors out there, to me Pence is the one who is most Reaganesque while being pretty darn conservative,” added Bauer, also a fan of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.