Rep. Pence Distorts Obama's Position On Iran

June 22, 2009 12:14 pm ET

In a Redstate blog post on June 22, 2009, Rep. Mike Pence made a number of false assertions regarding President Obama's reaction to the turmoil in Iran.

Rep. Pence Implied Obama Opposed "A Strong Affirmation Of Our Ideals"

Rep. Pence: "I respect that President Obama recognizes the troubling nature of the on-going situation in Iran, but respectfully disagree with where he has drawn the line. I do not believe a strong affirmation of our ideals and engagement with those who oppose our ideals are mutually exclusive. I think it is possible, as President Reagan demonstrated and indeed as it has been demonstrated throughout our history, for the American people to stand up and speak words of encouragement to those who are oppressed while engaging their oppressors." [Pence blog post, Redstate, 6/22/09]

Two Days Prior, President Obama Called On The Iranian Government To Respect Its Population's Rights To Assembly And Free Speech:

President Obama: "The Universal Rights To Assembly And Free Speech Must Be Respected." Reacting to ongoing violence in Iran, President Obama said, "the Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights." [ABC News, 6/20/09]

Rep. Pence Name-Dropped Sen. McCain... Who Praised & Echoed Obama's Statement

Rep. Pence: "It seems to me in this moment the American people long to be heard. House Resolution 560, which on Friday passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support, provides the American people an opportunity to do just that. The resolution, which was introduced in the Senate by Senators McCain and Lieberman, simply states that the House of Representatives condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the government of Iran." [Pence blog post, Redstate, 6/22/09; emphasis added]

Sen. McCain: "I Appreciate The Statement That He Made Yesterday." During an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation Senator John McCain said: "Well, I appreciate the statement that he made yesterday that was far stronger. And I think we need to continue to send that message. Bob, you and I are both students of history. In fact, we've had a chance to observe some history. But, back on July 4, 1776, our founding fathers declared one universal principle, that all of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights. And this is a human rights issue. This is an issue about whether people can freely demonstrate their disagreement with their government without being beaten and killed in the streets. And this has a long, long history of American advocacy and leadership for human rights." [CBS, Face the Nation, 6/21/09; emphasis added]