Washington, D.C.—There's a new push to put Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana 6th District) into the White House.
A former Ronald Reagan administrator has launched the America's President Committee to encourage a "Pence for President" bid. Former Representative Jim Ryan of Kansas is also helping the campaign to collect signatures from conservatives and TEA party activists.
Rep. Pence said he first learned of the effort underway when he woke up Monday morning.
"Today is the first we've heard of it, we are deeply humbled by the encouragement we've received around the country and around the state," said Pence.
Congressman Mike Pence thought he was heading to the paramount theater in Anderson for an MLK Day celebration. Instead, he became the focus.
"Woke up this morning, we learned early on, there were efforts being made nationally for us to consider seeking higher office," said Pence.
The petition's headline reads: "America Calling Mike Pence. You are the conservative champion. We call you to serve." A few lines below the headline reads "Mike Pence has the kind of optimism, moral values, and gutsy leadership we need in a president and a presidential nominee."
"People have asked me if I've ever though about running for president and I answer school kids with that question: no more, no less than any other kid who grew up with a corn field in his backyard," explained Pence.
The 51-year-old knows he would face a tough challenge, potentially going up against bigger names and deeper pockets, like Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.
Organizers of the group say Pence exemplifies the Conservative Reagan-Jack Kemp wing of the GOP. Pence said he will announce his future political plans by the end of January.