Rep. Pence Says GOP Majority Shouldn't Be Bipartisan: "No Compromise"

October 22, 2010 12:56 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Mike Pence

Since almost the moment President Obama was inaugurated, his critics have lamented that he is unwilling to work with Republicans. Despite significant compromises on the Recovery Act and health care reform — in which Democrats conceded the public insurance option and proposed Medicare buy-in — congressional Republicans have labeled Obama the "most partisan president America has ever seen."

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), one of the president's loudest antagonists, has griped that bipartisanship is now a "distant memory," declaring that "the death of democracy" has come under Obama's watch.  However, speaking in Florida last night, Pence made it clear that he has no intention of working with Democrats if Republicans win the majority in the midterm elections. Pence promised the audience "no compromise," adding, "We didn't come this far consensus with the political liberal elite."

"The last Republican Congress didn't suffer from too little compromise, it suffered too much," he said. If they retake the majority, he said, there can be "no compromise that allows more borrowing, more spending, more deficits and more debt ... no compromise on stopping their government takeover of health care."

"If I didn't make myself clear, no compromise," he said. "We didn't come this far to ... seek consensus with the political liberal elite in Washington."

Pence's stated commitment to absolute partisanship flies in the face of what some Republicans have been saying publicly.  For instance, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has said "it's pretty clear" that the American people want the parties to "compromise" and "come together." But, as Pence and other party leaders have constistently shown, many Republicans seem to think bipartisanship is a one-way street.