Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is eyeing the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, but he is not yet saying whether he's in the race.
"There’s a lot wrong with our national government, but there’s not a lot wrong with our nation," Pence told The Washington Post in an interview.
"The people of this country are every bit as strong, as caring, as patriotic, as generous, as hard-working as they’ve ever been.
"We’ve just got to have a government as good as our people."
But Pence, 55, isn't as forthcoming when asked whether he's planning a White House run.
"My focus is Indiana," he said. He has been in the governor's mansion since January 2013.
He introduced last week what the Post described as a signature education reform package for the upcoming session of the Hoosier State's Legislature — and his advisers told the newspaper that Pence's state campaign would disclose a big fundraising haul at the end of the year.
Pence is barred from being on the ballot for both governor and president.
"I believe in servant leadership and the servant always asks, 'Where am I needed most?'" he told The Post. "For me, public service is a calling, and ultimately, my family will approach it from that perspective — prayerfully, carefully, with humility and with a servant’s heart."
Pence spent 12 years in Congress, which included service to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He is considered someone who could unite the Republican Party — and has the support of such large donors as billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and publisher Steve Forbes.
"If you were going to design a perfect candidate, it would be a governor who’s an economic conservative, a pro-life reformer, a strong communicator a la Ronald Reagan — and Pence would have to be at the top of your list," said political strategist Scott Reed.
Pence's advisers told the Post that he would seek the nomination if he felt that he could fill a void.
"He can see himself as president," said former Indiana GOP Rep. David McIntosh, who is a close friend and who soon will be heading the Club for Growth.
"I don’t know whether he feels called to do it," he said. "My gut is he feels like he has more to do in Indiana. But he’s ready."
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