Washington (CNN) – His endorsement highly sought after, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is concerned the eventual GOP presidential nominee will not seize the opportunity to make a strong case for conservative economic policies, instead relying on his or her status as the "default option," or the alternative to the current political landscape, as a strategy for winning the White House.
"Now I think it's pretty clear that there's a good chance (President Barack Obama) will be running under really adverse economic conditions," he explained.
"I'm a little concerned that our nominee might just decide, 'Well, that's all it'll take, I'll just kind of play it safe. And I can get elected as the default option'."
The two-term governor believes that when equipped with the facts, Americans will prefer a candidate who will implement significant measures to repair the economy.
"What matters is winning it on the basis that allows us to make big change. And so I'm going to encourage, in my little way, our candidates and our eventual nominee, to, as I say, trust the American people a little more and step out there."
The highest official in the Hoosier state delivered these remarks on Monday while peddling his new book, which describes "just how close Americans are to losing their republic, and how they can restore it to greatness." Daniels told book-tour attendees that the trajectory the Obama administration is on with regard to their fiscal policies "threatens the American sense of optimism."
"Democracy is and always was a leap of fate," he said.
Daniels is not terribly impressed with his own party's outlook on what can be done to salvage the fiscal crisis, saying, "Folks on both sides don't think we have the capacity to make drastic changes to reform...Neither side is giving Americans enough credit."
When asked by CNN if he thought he'd be an asset to the GOP ticket as the vice presidential nominee, Daniels said the decision ultimately rests with the eventual candidate and he doesn't spend any time thinking about it.
The book event was hosted by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a pro-business think tank based in Washington.