Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) made an impact with his remarks on Saturday, stressing, "We must stay focused and resist temptation to get caught up in 2012." His message was that of regaining Republican control of the House of Representatives in November as he emphasized, "We must take back the Hill!"
He said Americans must rededicate themselves to defending the country ... ideas know no boundaries in America.
To cheers, he said, "Let the world know America is a friend of Israel."
As this point, my friend said a small ruckus started on the opposite side of the room when, reportedly, a group of Ron Paul supporters started booing. Were they booing at the statement about Israel? Others in the room began to shout them down by chanting, "USA! USA! USA!" Paul Wiegel at the Washington Post caught it:
"Let the world know this if it knows nothing else," said Pence. "America stands with Israel!"Rep. Pence continued speaking, emphasizing that federal spending needed to be limited to 20% of the GNP by a constitutional amendment because, he said, that was the only way to stop the printing and spending of money. He received roaring cheers at that.
As most of the crowd rose for a standing ovation, the cluster of Paul fans -- most gathered stage left -- started booing, turning heads in the media section and in the rest of the room. Other SLRC delegates angrily turned on them, chanting (with an irony that amused the Paul fans) "USA! USA!" until they piped down.
While Paul backers came to the SRLC with high hopes and access to over 600 discounted tickets, their presence here is small and jarring compared with their presence at CPAC. Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising. The South was Paul's weakest area of the country in the 2008 primaries -- he got no delegates here, and no more than 5.6 percent of the vote in any Southern state.
He likened the current crisis to a moral one and suggested that we need more moral people in leadership. My friend wondered if anyone was looking at him for 2012....
Pat has posted more about Mike Pence's speech and the video at ... and So It Goes In Shreveport. Check it out because, as she said, it was a barnburner of a speech!