After a presentation this afternoon at the weekly Bloggers Briefing held at The Heritage Foundation, Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) sat down with us for his first interview following today’s announcement that he will not challenge Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) for his seat in the U.S. Senate. In this exclusive interview, Pence discussed his future plans, the prospects for the conservative movement, and what he believes the President and Congress can do to spur growth in the economy. Reflecting on health of American conservatism, Representative Pence said:

I would describe the state of conservatism as in the ascendancy. The American people are in the midst of a great awakening. It’s a time when the American people want to see our government return to it’s roots of limited government, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, and traditional values. And, like no other time in my lifetime, those mainstream, common sense, common values that we describe as conservatism are on the rise and I believe the are going to propel a real renewal in 2010 and again in 2012.