U.S. Rep. Mike Pence
(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Representative Mike Pence is apologizing for comparing the decision on federal health care reforms to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-to-4 to uphold the Affordable Care Act. While Democrats and liberals celebrated the victory of the landmark legislation, the decision caught the ire of Republicans and conservatives nationwide.
Pence, the Indiana Sixth District congressman and Republican nominee for governor, was part of a closed door meeting of GOP Congressional members. Some in attendance leaked comments made by Pence during the gathering.
Pence was quick to call reporters afterwards and apologize. He said his comments were "thoughtless" and he "did not intend to minimize any tragedy our nation has faced."
“I certainly did not intend to make any such comparison (of the ruling to the 9/11 terrorist attacks) but let me just say to the extent that it’s been reported, to the extent that people interpreted my remarks that way, I apologize,” Pence said.
The congressman’s comments immediately drew criticism from his gubernatorial opponent, Democrat John Gregg, who said the comment disqualified Pence from the race.
“Congressman Pence is a perfect example of what is wrong with politics today,” Gregg said. “He has the right to disagree with the Supreme Court, we all do. But for him to compare a disagreement over healthcare to the deaths of 3,000 Americans goes far beyond the bounds of common decency. To compare our legislative and judicial process to a terrorist attack is deeply disturbing and wrong.”
Pence said the law must be repealed in full, otherwise he claims Hoosiers will face higher health care costs and increased taxes. The ACA’s tax on medical devices will cost Indiana more than 2,000 jobs in the medical device sector, he said.
"The Supreme Court may have had its say on the last Thursday in June, but the American people will have their say on the first Tuesday in November," Pence said in a statement Thursday.