Indiana Gov. Mike Pence suggested Sunday that he’s still considering a 2016 White House run but brushed aside questions about whether his expected mid-spring decision will leave him too far behind the coalescing GOP field.
“We'll let my future take care of itself,” the first-term Indiana governor told “Fox News Sunday.” “My focus needs to be on the state of Indiana.”
Pence said he’s specifically focused on getting state lawmakers to pass his legislative agenda -- which includes a balanced budget and more education reform -- before their session ends on April 29.
Pence, a former congressman who considered a presidential run in 2012, is also up for re-election as governor in 2016.
On Sunday, he touted his political successes, including more charter schools and the largest state tax cut in Indiana history.
And he appeared to lay some ground work for a White House bid, touting his connection to the Republican Party, big business and the Tea Party movement since its emergence in the 2010 midterm elections.
“I was at the first major rally,” the 55-year-old Pence said.
Political analysts point out that leading potential GOP candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and even conservative candidate and Tea Party favorite Dr. Ben Carson already have the makings of a campaign operation and have secured commitments from some of the biggest political donors.
Pence waved off such concerns that he is behind on both, telling Fox News, “I'm just a small-town guy from south Indiana … raised on old-fashioned values.” He also said he’s an a-to-b, b-to-c, c-to-d” type of person.
Pence, who was in Washington this weekend for the National Governors Association meetings, also defended Republican-led efforts on Capitol Hill to connect funding for the Department of Homeland Security with the legislative effort to roll back President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
“It’s entirely appropriate,” he said. “Let Congress work its will.”