**As Prepared For Delivery**
Contact: Bill Smith, 765-635-9885
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- Congressman Mike Pence delivered the following remarks, as prepared for delivery, during the 2010 Values Voter Summit today in Washington:
"I am honored to be invited to address the 2010 Values Voter Summit: the largest gathering of social conservatives in America.
"Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. All you really need to know is that I'm the father of three teenagers (hence the white hair), I have been married for 25 years to an elementary school teacher who is the love of my life - Karen Pence - and I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.
"What a difference two years makes. I like to say that I'm a conservative, but not in a bad mood about it. But after 2008, it was pretty tough.
"After 2008, most Republicans were still sure of our principles, but we were pretty uncertain about the future. It seemed like there was only a remnant of people in this country unbowed by the glamour and the appeal of the new American left.
"Unprecedented Democrat majorities in both houses, liberal dominance in the media, our courts, our public schools, our universities. It's extraordinary. It was the force that seemed indomitable to everybody that didn't know you. Now look at us. Look at what you've done. Historic elections in Virginia, in New Jersey, and in the state formerly known as 'Taxachusetts,' we have a Republican member of the United States Senate.
"And to these conservative victories, we have 'When Harry Met Sharon' playing in Nevada, Joe the Senator in Alaska and Delaware is about to send a conservative to Washington, DC. Who'd have thunk it?
"Even Republicans in Congress are getting back to fiscal discipline and reform. Let's be honest, four years ago Republicans in Congress didn't just lose their majority, they lost their way. When I opposed No Child Left Behind, when I opposed the Medicare prescription drug bill, and when I opposed the Wall Street bailout, I knew that if we kept acting like big government liberals, the American people were eventually going to go with the professionals. And they did.
"The truth is our party in Congress walked away from the principles that minted our national governing majority and the American people walked away from us.
"I get asked all the time, 'have House Republicans learned their lesson?' After a year that saw every single House Republican vote against the failed stimulus bill, every single House Republican vote against the budget-busting budget and every single Republican oppose that government takeover of health care, let me tell you Republicans in Congress are back in the fight and they're back in the fight on the right.
"So we've made great strides in the past year, but there's a lot more to do. Men and women, let me tell you, despite the exuberant optimism in the polls - MSNBC says Republicans could win a few seats in Congress and the Fox News Channel says Republicans will win 435 seats in the House of Representatives - the truth is, this ain't over. We cannot rest. We cannot relent until we win the American Congress back for the American people!
"These are serious times. A nation conceived in liberty has come of age in bondage to big government. We've lost respect to the world. We are going broke. And our social and cultural fabric is unraveling. People are scared.
"In the face of their failed leadership, our party must have the courage to produce a vision for a better America that will return our national government to the common sense and common values of everyday Americans.
"So, what does that look like? Well first, it means redirecting ourselves to doing what is necessary to defend this nation at home and abroad, giving the American soldiers the resources they need to get the job done and come home safe.
"The end of combat operations in Iraq was an important milestone and the president was right to mark it with a national address. But make no mistake about it, we would not have seen this day without the sacrifice of the American soldier, their families and with a commander-in-chief who would not surrender in the face of hardship abroad and withering criticism at home.
"Let history record, President George W. Bush's decision to surge forces in Iraq was right and its opponents, including President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were wrong, and it's high time they gave credit where credit is due.
"It means giving the intelligence community the tools they need to fight the war on terror like a war. We must stop putting international public relations ahead of public safety. Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and his terrorist cohorts should not be tried in our civilian criminal courts. They should be tried in the military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.
"It means defending those who defend us from being used to advance a liberal domestic agenda. For our soldiers, their families, for readiness, recruitment and unit cohesion, Don't Ask Don't Tell must remain the policy of the United States Armed Forces.
"And it means being good to our friends and tough on our enemies, not the other way around! Recent criticism of Israel over construction in Jerusalem and acts of self defense was appalling. I never thought I'd live to see the day that an American administration would denounce the Jewish state of Israel for rebuilding or protecting Jerusalem.
"Let the world know this, if it knows nothing else: America stands with Israel.
"Closer to home, a vision for a better America begins with turning back the big government agenda of this administration, especially when it comes to ObamaCare.
"Liberal Democrats may have had their way on the third Sunday in March, but the American people are going to have their say on the first Tuesday in November. And House Republicans will not rest until we have repealed their government takeover of health care - lock, stock and barrel.
"To those who say it would be too difficult to repeal and replace ObamaCare, I say it's a two step process. We repeal the Pelosi Congress in 2010 and replace the Obama Administration in 2012.
"And a vision for a better America does mean putting our fiscal house in order, reigning in the growth of government with new limits based on our history and the principles enshrined in the Constitution.
"We need a conservative majority in Congress that will do the hard work of fiscal discipline and reform, put our pathway toward a balanced budget and end the era of deficits, debts and bailouts once and for all.
"While we have to end the era of runaway spending, fiscal discipline alone is not enough. Today's headlines tell the tale. 'The economic policies of this administration have failed.' 'The US poverty rate rose to a 16 year high.' As we continue to hear the class warfare rhetoric that the 'rich get richer,' now we know their strategy. Under their policies the poor get poorer.
"A vision for a better America means preserving and promoting the kind of tax relief that has always and will always get this economy moving. By allowing the American people and small business to keep more of what they earn, we can renew incentive in America, the incentive to create, to build, to achieve and excel.
"But you know, that's not the president's approach. While the president talked about tax cuts in Cleveland, he also renewed his call for a tax increase on job creators in January of next year.
"Mr. President, higher taxes won't get people hired. Raising taxes on job creators won't create jobs.
"In the worst economy in 25 years, Congress must ensure that no American sees a tax increase in 2011, not one single American.
"When I look at the failed economic policies of the past two years, I think most Americans realize (to paraphrase a hero)…a recession is when your neighbor loses his job, a depression is when you lose your job, and a recovery is when Nancy Pelosi loses her job.
"Finally, a vision for a better America must recognize that our present crisis is not merely economic and political, but moral in nature. At the root of these times should be the realization that people in positions of authority have walked away from the timeless truths of honesty, integrity, an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay and the simple notion that you ought to treat the other guy the way you want to be treated. We will not restore this nation with public policy alone. It will require public virtue, and that emanates from the traditional institutions of our nation - life, family and religion.
"Now I know some say that Republicans should stay away from such issues this year…that the American people are focused on jobs and spending and our movement would do well to stand aside, bank the win and return to fight after this fiscal and economic crisis has passed.
"But we do not live in a world where an American leader can just focus on our financial ledger. A political party that would govern this great nation must be able to handle more than one issue at a time. We must focus on our fiscal crisis and support our troops. We must work to create jobs and protect innocent human life, defend traditional marriage and secure religious liberty.
"To those who say that marriage is not relevant to our budget crisis, I say, 'you would not be able to print enough money in a thousand years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse.'
"To those who say we should focus on cutting spending, I say 'Ok, let’s start by denying all federal funding for abortion at home and abroad! Stop funding research that destroys human embryos in the name of science, and let's deny any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America.'
"We must not remain silent when great moral battles are being waged. Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life, marriage and religious liberty, have forgotten the lessons of history. As in the days of a House divided, America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles.
"Men and women, we must demand, here and now, that the leaders of the Republican Party stand for life, traditional marriage and religious liberty without apology!
"Thomas Jefferson said, 'When the heart is right, the feet are swift.' We are at our strongest when our movement is grounded in what matters most. Victory comes when we stand together, fighting arm in arm for fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense and traditional moral values.
"You have come to our nation's capital at a historic moment in the life of this still-young republic. If we do not succeed in November, all that once was good and great about this country could someday be gone.
"So this is the moment. Now is the time. It's time for us to do all that we can to preserve what makes this country great.
"The Bible says, 'If you owe debts, pay debts. If honor, then honor. If respect, then respect.' We owe a debt to history, but not just our nation's storied history, but to our own personal history. To those who have gone before, and on whose shoulders we stand.
"I buried my father 22 years ago. He was an ordinary man who grew up on the south side of Chicago. He married the daughter of Irish immigrants and followed his dream. When the time came, he put on the uniform. Even though he was a gentle soul, he went into battle in Korea. He came back never to speak of it again, and the medals stayed in the drawer.
"He built a family and he built a business. My dad said two things more than any others. He reminded myself, my three brothers and my two sisters that, 'not my will but Thine be done.' And then he would look at us and say, 'climb your own mountain.'
"Men and women of the Values Voter Summit, we have a mountain to climb. Those who have gone before in your life climbed their mountain. They stood for freedom in harm's way. They demanded a government as good as our people. Now it's our turn.
"The time has come to take our stand. We must not be afraid and we must fight for what has always been the source of American greatness: our faith in God and our freedom.
"And if we hold that banner high, I believe with all my heart the good and great people of this land will rally to our cause. We will win this Congress back in 2010, and we will win this country back in 2012, so help us God."