Pence social conservatism appears mid-term, still not as strident as Washington years

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INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence's social conservatism has begun showing up midway through his four-year term following efforts to downplay it the past few years.

Pence sparked a firestorm among liberal bloggers last week after he called his decision to require some food-stamp recipients work 20 hours a week "ennobling." Speaking at the Republican Governors Association conference later in the week, he announced he may join other conservative governors in an attempt to block sweeping immigration changes.

As governor, Pence has largely avoided the hot-button issues he used to build a name for himself in Washington. Instead he has erred on the side of politically safe priorities like tax cuts and job-training. But he has been stepping out more in the national media as he considers a White House run in 2016.

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