Pence on GOP Oil Protest: 'We Don’t Need to Be on the Mainstream Media'

August 9th, 2008 12:36 PM

It doesn't matter if they talk about it on the evening news or not according to Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana.

Pence, along with two of his Republican colleagues - Reps. Dan Burton. Ind., and Bob Goodlatte, Va., met with reporters about the protest they are waging against congressional Democratic leaders at the Capitol on Friday. Democrats, led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, have prevented an up-or-down vote on expanding offshore oil exploration and drilling.

"We don't need to be on the mainstream media," Pence said. "I think the switchboard at the Capitol is melting. Quite frankly, you know, I went home to the state fair and went to the ham breakfast, which starts at 6 a.m. There were 300 farmers from all 92 counties of Indiana. There was no mention made from the podium about our protest, but I stood up and simply said, ‘It's an honor to be here with the governor and the lieutenant governor.' And I said, ‘Quite frankly, it's just nice to be speaking where the lights are on and it brought the house down - people from all 92 counties.'"

Pence based that conclusion on what he has seen - the GOP protest didn't need media coverage, which has been largely completely missing - from the major networks. His remarks were part of a breakfast presentation to a breakfast held by American Spectator and Americans for Tax Reform at the U.S. Capitol.

"I was talking to our leader, [Ohio Republican] John Boehner, later in the day and he was as struck with that as I was," Pence said. "This is reaching the American people - whether NBC, CBS, ABC decide to do much with it - I'm not interested."

He credited "the new media" - the Internet, cable news and talk radio for its success thus far.

"The new media - much of which is gathered around this table and cable television media and talk radio has taken this to the country," Pence said. "I just think we got to right now focus that enormous energy across the country."

Pence, a former radio and TV host, said he encouraged people to call their congressman, especially Democrats, and urged media in attendance to encourage the same.

To see what other congressional Republicans had to say about the protest efforts, visit the MRC's Business & Media Institute Web site.