Mom to Mike: Keep your day job

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s mother said she would prefer her son seek a second term leading his home state rather than seek the presidency in 2016.

Pence, a Columbus native, was elected the state’s 50th governor in 2012 after serving six consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 55-year-old has been mentioned frequently as a possible presidential candidate. He also had support for a presidential bid in 2012, but instead chose to run for governor.

The governor has been responding to media questions, including during the time around his Jan. 13 State of the State address, that he was not yet ready to make a decision on seeking the presidency.

“When people ask me if he should run for president, I say, ‘No.’ I want him as my governor. My feeling is he is a good governor,” said Nancy Pence Fritsch, 82, who lives in Columbus.

She was asked such as question Tuesday at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, located northwest of Terre Haute.

Pence Fritsch, a 1995 graduate of the college’s distance-education program, was there to hear her son’s speech to the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.

Pence Fritsch said Wednesday that she was asked to do an interview with the college newspaper, The Woods, and the student reporter asked her if her son should run for president.

“I said, ‘No, not right now,'” she said.

A reporter from the Tribune Star of Terre Haute, who also heard the interview, wrote a story published Wednesday in the daily newspaper and distributed statewide by the Associated Press.

The story quoted Pence Fritsch as saying her son had attributes that would well serve a candidate for any public office, such as honesty, reliability and truthfulness.

“He is doing a lot of the right things. I want him to maintain where he’s at right now,” she said.

However, Pence Fritsch said she has not shared her opinion with her son.

“It’s none of my business. It just happens to be an opinion, as most mothers do of their offspring,” she said.

How did her son react to that?

“I love my mom. She’s my hero. She was with me in Terre Haute at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, and after my dad died back in the 1980s,” Pence said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon.

“Mom held our little family together, and then she went back to college and graduated from St. Mary-of-the-Woods. She’s just the most courageous, amazing person that I know. And I never take issue with anything she says.”

Pull Quote

“I never take issue with anything she (mother Nancy) says.”

— Gov. Mike Pence

Author photo
Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.