Daniels: 'I'm not going to take much longer'
May 18th, 2011
12:15 PM ET
4 years ago

Daniels: 'I'm not going to take much longer'

Washington (CNN) - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says he is moving closer to a decision of whether to run for the Republican presidential nomination.

"I'm not going to take much longer," he told the Indianapolis Star in an interview published Tuesday. Some Republican consultants – unhappy with the current field – are urging him to enter the contest hoping he would provide a new face to the current lineup of contenders.

Daniels did not make any announcements as he travelled to several events in the state on Wednesday. He told reporters Tuesday he had no fixed date for making his decision known but said he would decide pretty quickly.

On Wednesday he said activists in Iowa and New Hampshire have contacted him about his possible campaign and promised he will call upon them for their help if he does decide to enter the GOP presidential sweepstakes or will contact them to explain why he chooses not to run for the nomination, according to WTHR.

One Republican source familiar with Daniels' small circle of advisers and supporters tells CNN the governor's team understands a decision must happen in the coming days in order to raise serious money and mount a robust campaign in Iowa.

With former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty quickly vacuuming up money from top tier Republican donors, time is slipping away for Daniels to get a slice of the pie. "I think they are now realizing that if it doesn't happen now it's never going to happen," the source told CNN. "It's now the eleventh hour."

The governor had been talking to friends about whether to get in but now he has "gone radio silent on his friends," one informal adviser and friend of Daniels tells CNN. Friends and advisers say this will mostly be a decision that Daniels will make mostly himself.

"He plays it very close," the adviser says.

Daniels has been talking to his wife and daughters as he nears a decision. He has cited family concerns as a major factor in helping him determine whether to make a run. He told the Indianapolis Star his family has now had "a lot of time to marinate" on the possibility and said he was ready to enter the final stage of making a decision.

"He hasn't asked anybody to do anything yet" about a presidential bid, the source tells CNN.

Daniels is downplaying the significance of other contenders' fundraising strength. Romney, for example, raised more than $10 million during a day-long event on Monday, and both Romney and Pawlenty are holding major fundraisers Wednesday.

"I guarantee if we did it I think we'd have the best letterhead and plenty of money," Daniels told reporters Tuesday, according to the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette. "I just don't think these things get settled by money. I believe, especially this time with so much at stake…it's going to be a lot more about the quality of ideas. I would guess each finalist will have enough attention and resources to have a shot."

The deadline to compete in the closely watched Ames Star Poll, being held in August, is fast-approaching, and Daniels' backers are confident the governor would appeal to those who would attend the state's caucus because of his folksy manner and Midwestern pedigree.

It is clear from that interview he has given some clear thought about how he would campaign if he decides to enter the nomination sweepstakes.

"Campaigning in a retail way, they tell me, is useful in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire," he told the paper. "And we certainly know how to do that," in reference to his 2004 campaign for governor when he would make a lot of unannounced stops.

Known as a frugal man, Daniels said he would still sleep in voters' homes during a presidential campaign as he did previously in two statewide races. "It not only saves money, but you learn so much."

Known as frugal, Daniels also told the paper he would like to travel in a RV as he did during his gubernatorial campaigns but acknowledges that may be impractical in a national primary campaign. He said would like to avoid the routine photo ops in the early states and instead would like to have meaningful discussions with voters.

"I don't know how you do that in a presidential campaign," he said of that goal. "But you're not going to learn anything (by going) into a restaurant with 60 cameras."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitch Daniels
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on America!

    Mitch is the latest Great White Dope for those unhappy with the GOBP's current crop of clown candidates. Of course only another cult member can ignore that Daniel's was part of the Bushco reign of error who slavishly adhered to their discredited and disproved religion of deregulation, tax cuts for the filthy rich and destruction of our environment.

    May 18, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Mitch, we need deciders, not ditherers. If you hemmed and hawed this much about W's budgets, I can see why our treasury is in as poor shape as it is. And for someone who called a moratorium on "Social Conservative Issues" you sure jumped on the bandwagon on your anti-planned parenthood issue.

    May 18, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. created jobs my @ss

    Created jobs? Lol Mitch Daniels did no such thing. In fact he lied about creating 200K jobs and central Indiana news WTHR investigated/showed the world what a crock of poo this man is. And he has done nothing but ruin Indiana's educational system. Ditch Mitch. He sure as hell is not nor has ever been "my man".

    May 18, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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