Former Vice President and 2024 GOP Presidential Candidate Mike Pence Spoke to Brian Kilmeade about how his camping differs from Donald Trump, why he would sign Senator Lindsey Graham’s 15 week abortion ban if president the need for Social Security and Medicare reform and the importance of supporting Ukraine.
Brian Kilmeade [00:00:26] And that’s a little of the speech of Mike Pence comments Mike Pence made yesterday in Iowa to officially launch his presidential run. He’s the 48th vice president United States and wants to be the 46th president, the 47th president of the United States. Who did that math in my head. Mr. Vice President, welcome back to the Brian KILMEADE Show.
Mike Pence [00:00:46] BRIAN Thanks for having me on this morning. And I’m speaking to you from Iowa, but it’s great to be on on the airwaves of the Brian KILMEADE Show all across America.
Brian Kilmeade [00:00:54] And that’s how, by the way, that’s the foundation. Are you a radio guy? Before you became a politician, Correct.
Mike Pence [00:01:06] I spent about I was never as big as Brian KILMEADE, but I. Right. I had a little syndicated radio show in Indiana, and and I just loved it. You know, your listeners should just know I’m just not only an old talk radio show host, but I’m a talk radio listener. And we appreciate your voice out there every day.
Brian Kilmeade [00:01:24] Brian Thanks, Mr. Vice President. So I had a chance to watch Governor DeSantis speak on Long Island. And when he showed up, you know, people are enthusiastic to see him. But Trump supporters showed up and they were heckling him and I thought were planted on my own. I got the Trump people heckling Governor Ron DeSantis, two conservative Republicans. Do you find that here you are running and you’re against your former running mate in ten others and sometimes you are you getting pushback because of the statement you made, why you’re running?
Mike Pence [00:01:55] Well, look, look, you know, there’s a saying in NASCAR, you know, that Robin is racist. So, you know, that’s all part of it. And that’s that’s fine. But, you know, for us, for me and my family, Karen and I spent the last couple of years really reflecting and praying about the future. But when I looked at the way Joe Biden and the Democrats have weakened America at home and abroad, when I see the crisis at our border, when I see inflation at a 40 year high, when I see the steady assault on our values, we just felt a duty to step forward and offer our experience not just as vice president, Brian, but you and I had known each other a long time. You know, I was a governor of a state that balanced budgets, cut taxes, achieved wretched record employment, and expanded school choice. And I also was a leader of House conservatives. I battle against the big spenders of my own party. And when I think of the challenges that we’re facing at home and abroad in the wake of the failed policies of President Joe Biden, I think this now is a time for all of us. Whatever the cost. Now’s the time for all of us to step forward, to offer our experience and our background to turn this country around. And I hope people go to Mike Pence 2024 dot com. Find out more about our cause and and we’d love to earn their support.
Brian Kilmeade [00:03:11] So the problem was and with entitlements it’s become a third rail because as soon as we are Paul Ryan as soon as Paul Ryan came out and said, hey, you know what, we’ve got to take a look at Social Security. We had to take a look at Medicare, these entitlements. Now you have a Paul Ryan actor throwing grandma over the cliff and you think to yourself, No, no, we’re trying to solve a problem, though, but you don’t like old people. So when Donald Trump ran, he said, you know what, We’re going to just forget that it’s a it’s tough to be a politician and tell people you’re going to cut entitlement programs. And that’s where people have stood out. But you’re you’re coming onto the scene saying, we have to we don’t have enough money for our bills.
Mike Pence [00:03:49] Well, we just don’t look at Social Security and Medicare are scheduled to go bankrupt in the next 5 to 10 years. When that happens, the law will require those programs to be cut. We owe Americans that are in retirement, are facing retirement soon better than that. But it’s even bigger than that today. I mean, Joe Biden’s policy is insolvency. He won’t even talk about responsible reforms of entitlements that are 70% of our federal budget. And as I said yesterday, my former running mate has the same policy that Joe Biden has on this that we’re never even going to talk about Social Security and Medicare. Well, I got to tell you, as a new grandfather, we had three granddaughters in the last two years. I think we owe our girls better than that. If we wait 25 years, all the choices are going to be bad. If we provide leadership today, if we say to Americans over the age of 40, nothing’s going to change for you. We’re going to keep all the promises we’ve made to you in the system you paid into. But for Americans under the age of 40, we can we can create a better deal to replace the New Deal programs. I think you, in exchange for slight modifications of those programs, we can let people invest part of their payroll tax in a personal savings account and get a double or triple the rate of return you’re getting in Social Security. So these are all ideas I think the American people are ready for. Because finally, Brian, I think the American people are seeing the relationship between the national debt and their pocketbook and the gusher of spending in Washington, the mountain range of debt that we have in Washington, dollars that we owe to countries like China is is driving the 40 year high inflation that’s eating away at America’s families budgets. I think the American people are ready for an honest conversation. And as we said in our launch of our campaign yesterday here in Iowa, we’re going to gauge the American people. We’re going to be honest, and we’re going to offer compassionate and commonsense reforms to save our nation from a debt crisis and preserve these programs for the future.
Brian Kilmeade [00:05:55] So I’m going to give you two tough questions. You might have the answer, but you might not. You might not. You might know it’s on pop. Peter, would you raise the retirement age? You saw what happened in France when they did that. It’s laughable. They don’t want to work and they they want to retire. Young But they were to raise it to 64. There was a the whole country shut down. If it does, Mike Pence want to raise the retirement age?
Mike Pence [00:06:16] Yeah, the retirement age in America is already above that mean that President Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill sat down back in the 1980s and they negotiated a long term phase in of a higher retirement age. They preserved Social Security for another 30 years. That’s what it’s going to take. But that’s not all that’s on the table. Look, we Americans are living longer. We celebrate that. My mother’s 91 years young, lives on her own. And look, we we I think we can have a responsible conversation about this. But again, so.
Brian Kilmeade [00:06:50] Yes, 67.
Mike Pence [00:06:51] Going about less blessed benefits. I’m talking about it’s not a zero sum game. I think you could change these programs for younger Americans, combine it with letting them invest a portion of their payroll taxes in an all American company mutual fund, like we have 10 million.
Brian Kilmeade [00:07:08] George Bush tried that today. It’s called the Congressman Mike Pence. George Floyd tried to return, but George Bush tried that and into it and it did not work. It would have worked with that example.
Mike Pence [00:07:20] That Brian that was with our national debt was a fraction of what it is today. And I really do believe as I’ve traveled the country, the American people are ready for for some honest leadership. That is this is where we have to go, right? Because if we leave this unchecked, honestly, Brian, our national debt will increase by five times in the next 25 years. And if we let it go till then, if we keep kicking the can the way Joe Biden and my former running mate are doing right now on this issue, all the choices that our children or grandchildren will face will be bad. It’ll either be cutting programs or massively increasing taxes. We owe the American people better.
Brian Kilmeade [00:07:59] I want to move through a little bit now. I know you’re you’re vehemently pro-life, but America isn’t so there somewhere between I think the stats show around 12 to 14 weeks. So are you saying return the decision to the states or are you saying get abortion to zero?
Mike Pence [00:08:20] Well, thank you for saying, but I my stand on the right to life is is well known and widely known. I’m pro-life. I don’t apologize for it. When I was in Congress, I authored the first legislation to defund Planned Parenthood that ever passed the Congress of the United States. When I was governor, we advocated for the right to life and adoption reform. I think if you’re going to be pro-life, you got to be pro adoption. And I couldn’t be more proud to have been part of an administration that appointed three of the justices that sent Roe versus Wade to the ash heap of history. But it’s important, Brian, look, as we come up on that anniversary of that historic decision that that ushered in a new era for life in the country, it’s important to remember the courts did not return the question of abortion to the state. They returned it to the states and the American people. And I’ve been advocating pro-life legislation in states around the country celebrating it in my home state and elsewhere, where pro-life advances have been made. But the American people also elect presidents. We also elect congressmen and senators. And I will tell you, if I’m president of the United States and in the 15 week bill that’s been proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham made it to my desk, I’ll sign it in a heartbeat. I mean, that would simply align America’s laws to most of the rest of the Western world. Brian, in the European Union, abortion is is limited to before 12 to 15 weeks. That’s the standard, the American standard today Joe Biden and the Democrat standard today, abortion on demand all the way up to the moment of birth. That’s what China, North Korea and Iran’s laws about abortion say. Well, i think at every level people could count it. If Mike Pence was president of the United States, we would stand for and advance the cause of life with principle.
Brian Kilmeade [00:10:10] At 15 weeks.
Mike Pence [00:10:11] Yes, every day.
Brian Kilmeade [00:10:12] At 15 weeks, not six.
Mike Pence [00:10:15] Well, look, I support a heartbeat bill, too. And if it was put on my desk, I’d sign that as well. And I will tell you, this notion that it goes too far, as my former running mate said, I think was was put to the law in places like Georgia and Ohio, where governors signed the heartbeat bill and then they they won landslide victories and by almost 20 points in Ohio. And an incredible victory with Brian Kemp against a formidable Democrat candidate in Georgia. Look, we’ve got a long way to go to win hearts and minds in this country. But I think if we do so with compassion, with generosity, with prayer and and with principle of the day will come when we restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law.
Brian Kilmeade [00:11:00] Vice President Mike Pence, our guests. And Mr. Vice President, Republicans are increasingly getting dissatisfied with spending money in Ukraine. I personally think it’s so worth America’s interests, our own self-interest, for Ukraine to be successful. Would you fully fund the Ukrainian effort to beat Russia?
Mike Pence [00:11:21] Well, Brian, you’re right it it providing the the military support, the means for Ukraine to defend themselves and repel the Russian invasion is is in our national interest. And and I believe it’s in the interest of the free world. Look, we’re the leader of the free world. We’re the arsenal of democracy. We the while the Biden administration has been terribly slow in providing military resources to Ukraine, the Ukrainian fighters have taken the fight to the Russians. And I really do believe that that that that anyone that thinks that that Vladimir Putin would stop if he overruns Ukraine has another thing coming. I mean, I’ve met Vladimir Putin. I’ve looked him in the eye. It’s clear he’s trying to reassert the Soviet sphere of influence back in the days of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. And if he won’t, if he overruns Ukraine, it wouldn’t be too long before before Russian forces rolled across the border that we would have to send our men and women in uniform to fight. So I think we fight. We give the Ukrainians the ability to fight them there, repel the Russian invasion. I also think, Brian, and you’ve said this as well, I think the best way we could send a message to China that the free world will not tolerate their military aggression in the Asia-Pacific is to continue to provide the support as the leader of the free world to the Ukrainian military to drive out the Russian invasion.
Brian Kilmeade [00:12:55] It’s just amazing that this administration doesn’t make a case for their own policy. It’s not. General Jack Keane has done more to educate America about what’s at stake and how China loses if Russia loses anybody else. But I want you to hear Brit HUME, a great analyst who I know you like and I know likes you.
Mike Pence [00:13:12] But tonight, can I say somebody number one, General Jack Keane is the best is a national treasure. But I really think part of the reason why some in our movement are growing increasingly impatient with American support Ukraine is because of the lack of confidence in President Joe Biden, right? I mean, that disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the begging Iran to get back in the Iran nuclear deal, the the the weakness this administration has projected abroad and the failure to make the freedoms case in Ukraine, I think is eroding public support, including among many conservatives who know that that that the war in Ukraine is not our war, but freedom is our fight. And but I’m going to continue to stand strong for that while my former running mate, while others take a different posture, I’m going to lean into America’s leadership.
Brian Kilmeade [00:14:02] And that will be a big debate topic here. I want you here with Brit HUME said last night after you got in.
Speaker 3 [00:14:08] It’s a little unclear to me what Pence is going to try to run on. You know, he can say he’s a solid conservative. Nobody would dispute that. But the field is full of solid conservatives with views not really different from from Mike Pence. His views, despite The New York Times, his assertions that the party has gone completely different. It hasn’t entirely at all. And if you’re running to be the alternative to Trump, being a solid, traditional conservative is where you want to be. But there are lots of people who can make that claim.
Brian Kilmeade [00:14:35] So what do you say about Brit HUME, who I think you agree is fair? He says it’s unclear the lane you want.
Mike Pence [00:14:42] Well, I have boundless respect for Brit HUME, but he’s not given the whole picture. I mean, truthfully, as we tried to describe today and my wife did a wonderful job introducing us yesterday here in Iowa is I’ve come to the conclusion, Brian, that I’m well known, but I’m not known Well, I mean, most Americans know me as a loyal vice president, standing by the president’s side in an administration that advance an agenda that made America stronger, more prosperous. I stood by his side right up until my oath to the Constitution that required me to do otherwise. But that’s how most people know me. But what they don’t know is that I was a conservative champion in the Congress. What they don’t know is that I was a conservative governor that balanced budgets and achieved record employment. And so part of the story for us is just making sure the American people know that in these incredibly challenging times, we believe and I say with humility, that my background and experience at the state level, at the federal level in the Congress and representing America at home and abroad as vice president makes us uniquely qualified to lead an administration that would turn the country around. But secondly, as I said yesterday, that beyond our differences, our ongoing difference about my role on that that fateful day two years ago, I have real differences with my former running mate on America’s leadership in the world, notably about the war in Ukraine. I have real differences about our commitment to fiscal discipline and reform and tackling the national debt. And when I see the former president literally being. Claiming election defeats in 2022 on overturning Roe versus Wade and starting to back away, and others in the field backing away from a vigorous commitment to the right to life.
Brian Kilmeade [00:16:31] We’re going to lay.
Mike Pence [00:16:31] Out a very clear choice. I’m going to run without apology on a solid conservative agenda and on my experience.
Brian Kilmeade [00:16:37] Mr. Vice President, thanks so much. You know, you’re radio guy. We’re up against a hard break.