Indiana Gov. Mike Pence should run for president because “he’s got the record and got the experience” to be a strong candidate in 2016, conservative media mogul Steve Forbes said Thursday.
“Why shouldn’t he look at it?” Forbes said after interviewing Pence for an hour on stage at a Forbes Reinventing America summit in Indianapolis. “He knows what it takes to get things done. He brings the legislative perspective, the executive perspective and the principled perspective, and it’s a good combination.”
Forbes, the chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, wasted no time getting to the presidential issue with Pence. In his first question, he asked the Republican and former congressman to talk about a possible presidential run and when he might make a decision.
Pence – as he’s been doing now for months – sidestepped the question, saying he’s flattered so many people are mentioning his name as a possible candidate. But Pence said that’s “more about the progress people in Indiana have been making” than it is about Pence’s own aspirations.
“I think Ronald Reagan said the same thing,” Forbes quipped about the former California governor-turned-president.
But while Forbes said he brought his Reinventing America summit to Indiana because of the state’s progress and innovation, that’s not why Pence has emerged as a dark horse candidate for the nation’s highest office.
Pence considered and then decided against a run for president in 2012. And he’s been stoking the discussions about a possible 2016 bid, traveling to early primary states including New Hampshire and Iowa to campaign for local candidates and making appearances at political events, including a conference sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, the not-for-profit group backed by the libertarian-leaning billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
On Thursday after the Forbes event, Pence said he’ll make a decision about running for president after the Indiana General Assembly adjourns its 2015 session, which should happen at the end of April.
Forbes said that timing is right in line with other potential candidates “who will make decision by the spring of next year.”