One of the best decisions made this year by House Republicans was putting Mike Pence in charge of the House Republican Conference. Yesterday at CPAC, he proved it.
Pence was dynamic, powerful, focused, and absolutely willing to call out other Republicans who totally failed the party and the conservative movement.
His theme, from stage, was set early:
How we, as conservatives, respond to these challenges could determine whether America retains her place in the world as a beacon of freedom; or whether we slip into the abyss that has swallowed much of Europe in an avalanche of socialism.
While some are prepared to write the obituary on capitalism and our movement, I believe we are on the brink of a great American awakening.
The crowd really responded, understanding that the GOP needs conservatives and their ideas more than conservatives really need the GOP. The fight for freedom will be based on our ideas, not the left's. Pence drove this point home with a line that left people in the exhibit hall frozen -- absorbing the wisdom of the line:
Fighting for free enterprise means standing up for free markets. The freedom to succeed includes the freedom to fail. We must defend entrepreneurial capitalism against the onslaught of the American left.
Mike Pence gets it.
After the speech, I asked Congressmen Pence how he responds to those who say the GOP leadership failed the GOP. "Not me," he said. I responded, "Yeah, but . . . what about the leadership? The same guys are there." He admitted there were problems, but said they are working hard to fix the problems. He pointed to toeing the line on the stimulus. He pointed out Boehner and Cantor's leadership holding the caucus together. He made a lot of sense.
Below the fold you can listen to his whole speech.