Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to conservatives: 'Dramatically increase' defense spending

Government And Institutions Associated Press

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says America will not be safe unless its leaders dramatically increase defense spending.

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The Republican state executive, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, told conservatives Friday night that no defense strategy will protect the nation unless federal leaders rebuild the U.S. military.

Pence is among several Republican White House prospects to appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington.

The former congressman says it's "imperative that conservatives again embrace America's role as leader of the free world and the arsenal of democracy." He says that means that defense spending must be "dramatically increased."

In his budget for 2016, President Barack Obama has called for increasing defense spending 4.4 percent to $585 billion. That's 16 percent of his proposed $4 trillion federal budget.