(CNN) - Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana said it is not too late for another candidate to enter the race for the White House and that he has tried to convince "three or four people" to make the jump.
"Somebody else could still enter and have a competitive chance," Daniels told The New York Times in a weekend interview. "The candidate I could get instantly excited about is someone who is willing to level with the American people and assume they are prepared to listen to the mathematical facts and agree that whatever other disagreements we have aren't as important."
The two-term governor, who publicly considered a presidential bid earlier this year, did not disclose the names of those he urged to run, but did say he was frustrated by the discussions taking place between the current contenders.
He said the candidates have a responsibility to have "more candid and honest conversations" about the economy and specifically entitlement programs and was critical of the back and forth between Republican candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over social security.
Romney has repeatedly attacked Perry's characterization of the program as a "Ponzi scheme" and "monstrous lie."
"I don't think any of this is very helpful," Daniels said. "If there's a problem with 'Ponzi scheme," it is that it's too frank, not that it's wrong. But by stopping there, he might be unnecessarily scaring people."
Daniels, a political veteran, served as former President George W. Bush's director of the Office of Management and Budget. Before he decided against a run for president in May, he made the economy a central theme of his message, suggesting Republicans focus on the country's fiscal challenges instead of the social issues, like gay marriage and abortion that divide the electorate.
But Daniels said the quick rise of Perry's candidacy proves another Republican could launch a successful campaign.
"He proved it wasn't too late, I don't think it's too late yet," Daniels said. "In the wired world we're in, somebody new could get in."