Vice President Mike Pence at CPAC 2017
Michael Richard "Mike" Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and lawyer and the 48th Vice President of the United States. He previously served as the 50th Governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017.
Born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, Pence graduated from Hanover College and earned a law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law before entering private practice. After losing two bids for a U.S. congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, he became a conservative radio and television talk show host from 1994 to 1999. Pence was elected to the United States Congress in 2000 and represented Indiana's 2nd congressional district and Indiana's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. He served as the chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011. Pence positioned himself as a principled ideologue and supporter of the Tea Party movement, noting he was "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order."
Upon becoming Governor of Indiana in January 2013, Pence initiated the largest tax cut in Indiana's history, pushed for more funding for education initiatives, and continued to increase the state's budget surplus. Pence signed bills intended to restrict abortions, including one that prohibited abortions if the reason for the procedure was the fetus's race, gender, or disability. Pence stirred several high-profile controversies, including with his signature of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, for which he encountered fierce resistance from moderate members of his party, the business community, and LGBT advocates. He later signed an additional bill acting as an amendment intended to protect LGBT people.
On November 8, 2016, Pence was elected as Vice President, after he dropped out of his gubernatorial re-election campaign in July to become the vice presidential running mate for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who went on to win the presidential election.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC; /ˈsiːpæk/ see-pak) is an annual political conference attended by conservative activists and elected officials from across the United States. CPAC is hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU). More than 100 other organizations contribute in various ways.
In 2011, ACU took CPAC on the road with its first Regional CPAC in Orlando, Florida. Since then ACU has hosted regional CPACs in Chicago, Denver, St. Louis, and San Diego. Political front runners take the stage at this convention.
Speakers have included Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Pat Buchanan, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tony Snow, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Allen West, Michele Bachmann, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, Mike Pence, Jeanine Pirro, Betsy DeVos, and other conservative public figures.