“Pence might have given the most 2016-pitch-style-speech so far,” tweeted Jim Geraghty, a reporter for the conservative National Review.
As I have before, Wallace circled around the governor and tried to pierce the script.
“I don’t want to beat a dead horse. But I guess I’ll hit it one more time,” Wallace said. “Back in 2012 you were thinking about running for president. You decided not to. Does that still beat inside you?”
He found rhetorical Pence Kevlar.
“Well, let me be honest with you, I’m always humbled and flattered any time I’m mentioned for the highest office in the land,” Pence said. “But I honestly think much of that talk is the result of the progress the people of Indiana have been making. I’ll take the compliment to heart, but I will defer it to the progress the people of Indiana have made and we’ll stay focused here at home.”
While the Pence team will never admit it because they know it won’t help him on the Statehouse third floor, it appears the 2016 presidential strategy has been in place all along. The advance Berlin speech script into the hands of Fox News earlier this month was quite revealing.
It appears more and more likely we’ll get to watch this script play out in Iowa, where evangelical populists Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum won in 2008 and 2012.
Brian Howey, a Peru native, is the publisher of The Howey Political Report. He can be reached at www.howeypolitics.com. Find him on Twitter @hwypol.