Group forms to draft Rep. Mike Pence to run for president in 2012

Amanda Carey Contributor
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A conservative group launched Monday with one goal in mind: drafting Republican Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana to run for president in 2012.

America’s President Committee (APC), which includes former Kansas Congressman Jim Ryun, is launching a national grassroots effort for conservatives and Tea Partiers to encourage Rep. Pence to put his hat in the ring with other potential GOP hopefuls like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney.

The effort is coordinated by Ralph Banko, who worked as a deputy counsel in the Reagan Administration and in President George W. Bush’s Office of Faith-based a Community Initiatives. “Mike Pence describes himself as ‘First a Christian, then a conservative, then a Republican.’ He unifies fiscal, social, and national security conservatives, and will energize the conservative coalition essential to wining back the White House in 2012,” said Benko in a press release.

Rumors about a presidential bid from Pence started flying last fall when, in an interview on Fox News, he responded to whether he would run in 2012 by saying, “Whatever the future holds, we’re going to begin prayerfully considering where our family can make the most difference for our beloved nation.”

In September, Pence won the 2012 presidential straw poll at the Value Voters Summit that was hosted by the conservative group The Family Research Council.

And just last month, conservative blogger at the Washington Post Jennifer Rubin predicted that Pence will run for president, and cited a “close friend and confidante of Pence’s” that told her the congressman has been “serious” for weeks.

“Throughout his distinguished career, Mike Pence has demonstrated the ability to enthusiastically advance the cause of conservatives and constitutional, limited government and for that reason I am encouraging him to get in the race,” said Ryun in a statement.

APC will begin the petition drive this week at www.theconservativechampion.org.