Washington (CNN) – Potential Republican presidential candidate Mitch Daniels defended his call for a truce on social issues in the 2012 election, stressing the importance of those with different viewpoints coming together to solve the country’s economic problems.
When asked whether he could win the early presidential contests in Iowa and South Carolina - typically bastions for social conservatism - without addressing those issues, Daniels said “I don’t know.”
“I don’t sit around calculating the political pluses and minuses of every little word I utter,” Daniels said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I just sort of tell people what I think makes sense and I’m prepared to respect disagreements.”
The Indiana governor has repeatedly voiced opposition to using moral issues for political gain in the next election, receiving criticism from other potential contenders and social conservatives. Despite the backlash, Daniels has stuck to his economic message.
The former director of the Office of Management and Budget under former President George W. Bush said in order to grow the economy and propel the American dream, “we’re going to have to do some very, very big things.”
“We’re going to have to get together people who disagree on other things,” Daniels said.
But he came no closer to a decision on a run for the White House.
Asked if politically he can wait to make an announcement until the end of the summer, Daniels responded “I have no idea.”
“I still think there’s time and there’s some really good people running. I like them all,” Daniels said. “I’m hoping that our party will simply step up to the issues of the day and it could be any of those folks.”