CNN’s Candy Crowley hosted a round table of governors to debate everything from the death penalty to health care reform. While the governors – Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Jay Nixon of Missouri, Rick Perry of Texas, and Mike Pence of Indiana – agreed little on policy, they all agreed states should be at the forefront of innovation.
Malloy, whose state outlawed the death penalty, argued that the decision made many in his state happy, and the state itself boasted a significant drop in crime rates during his tenure. The other governors disagreed with him on capital punishment – the other Democrat, Nixon, insisted that “the death penalty is not a broad issue,” but one in which individual victims need the peace of mind of a final punishment for the offender at hand. Perry agreed entirely with this description of it, and Pence weighed in that “justice demands it.” However, all agreed that their differences only echo the diversity of the nation.
The success of the nation, Governor Pence added, would come from “allow[ing] states to have the freedom and flexibility to serve as laboratories of innovation.” The governors agreed, and Gov. Malloy, who articulated the most liberal opinions on the panel, noted Pence’s point in discussing his state’s raising of the minimum wage and his support of the Affordable Care Act. Malloy noted that he “actually believed” that Obamacare would save money and create jobs, though he lightheartedly noted that “my hunch is that some of my Republican colleagues won’t agree, but there is room for debate about this.” Once again, the panel agreed that disagreeing and letting states prove whether their preferred policies work is the best approach to the study.
Pence added that, as a former Congressman, he understood both the federal and state infrastructures and could not see how the current situation in Washington could produce more efficient governing than that in the states. Change, he noted, would arrive “more from our nation’s state capitals than our nation’s capitals.” “I understand Washington; I see the gridlock,” he added, concluding he was “absolutely convinced that empowering our states to innovate” would solve many of our contemporary problems.
Watch the segment from today’s State of the Union via CNN below: