Conservative Lawmaker to McCain: 'Embrace the Right'

Fred Lucas | Staff Writer | Friday, February 08, 2008

Conservative Lawmaker to McCain: 'Embrace the Right'

Washington ( - Leading conservative Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) threw his support behind John McCain (R-Ariz.) Friday, but that support was qualified.

Pence, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., said he was encouraged by what McCain had told CPAC the day before. He also praised McCain's commitment to a strong military and to keeping federal spending down.

However, Pence said he disagreed with McCain on many issues, specifically two that are clear examples of McCain's tendency to depart from the conservative political base of the Republican Party: McCain's support for the political left's views on climate change and his support for curtailing free speech through campaign finance reform.

"After the marvelous speech at CPAC, senator, we know you hear us," Pence said, in what he called a message to McCain, who all but wrapped up the GOP presidential nomination Thursday when his closest rival Mitt Romney left the race.

"You need to know that you need this movement to win in November," Pence said to loud applause.

"Sen. McCain, embrace the right, and the right will embrace you, across the finish line and into the White House," Pence said, again to applause.

But the applause was not consistent. For instance, Pence earlier praised the pro-family views of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and the conservative campaign of Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, but when he brought up McCain, there was a mixture of cheers and boos.

As for global warming, Pence described it as the Democrats' "plan to regulate our economy in the name of climate change."

Pence also expressed his opposition to the regulation of talk radio through the Fairness Doctrine, a federal regulation that was halted by President Regan and the Federal Communications Commission in 1987 but could be re-implemented.

Pence called on all conservatives to "oppose censorship of all forms, whether it's taking the form of the Fairness Doctrine or campaign finance reform."

Pence concluded his speech saying, "God still governs.

"The times and providence called forth the right man to lead America for such a time as this," Pence said of McCain.

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