Daniels to hopefuls: Be a GOP candidate, not the 'default option'
September 26th, 2011
08:25 PM ET
3 years ago

Daniels to hopefuls: Be a GOP candidate, not the 'default option'

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.

Also see:

New week, same Perry-Romney battle

Trump back in campaign spotlight

Obama takes digs at Perry, GOP debate audiences


Filed under: 2012 • GOP • Mitch Daniels
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I have to say that none of these people are really worth the votes. Just because the GOP doesn't like Obama doesn't mean that any of these people are going to beat Obama come 2012. I don't think they offer the country enough to change president.

    September 26, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. Jake

    "Now I think it's pretty clear that there's a good chance (President Barack Obama) will be running under really adverse economic conditions," Daniels and the rest of the GOP say with a grin....

    September 26, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. W L Jones

    Of the ten candidate running for office of the president only one have experience ,present president. All the Repub holling experience experience, none to be had.

    September 26, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  4. Donkey Party

    "When equipped with the facts", no real American will ever vote for the GOP again.

    September 27, 2011 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  5. moderatejoe

    As someone who followed Gov Daniels and was hoping that he entered the race, I now find I'm tiring of his messages. The roll of kingmaker while holding out for the VP spot is becoming a parody of someone's heightened view of their importance. Gov Daniel's was all about keeping social issues out the race and focusing on fiscal responsibility which should be the goal. Some where along the line Daniels decided that he wasn't up to the challenge; so if he wants to keep his relevance he should either make an endorsement or go away, but he's beginning to embarrass himself like Trump.

    September 27, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  6. Sandy

    They ARE GOP candidates. Kinda stinks, huh.

    September 27, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  7. Sandy

    The reason these GOP candidates are having difficulty is because their policies are horrible for the country! GOP does not know how to govern so that it helps all people. They only know how to help the rich because their only policies are tax cuts and deregulation.

    September 27, 2011 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  8. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Daniels misses the point. While he is correct that Americans want a president and party that will address our nation's economic problems, he conveniently omits that (a) the GOBP is largely responsible for our economic problems and (b) the GOBP cultists have no plan except for their reheated manure about proven failed policies like deregulation and tax cuts for the ultrarich.

    September 27, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  9. AntiFringe

    The default option.........Unfortunately, that's how we nominate our candidates. This process of jumping from state to state, begging for votes so early in the election cycle, is such a distraction. There has to be a better way.

    September 27, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. Four and The Door

    Sandy
    The reason these GOP candidates are having difficulty is because their policies are horrible for the country! GOP does not know how to govern so that it helps all people. They only know how to help the rich because their only policies are tax cuts and deregulation.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
    You tell 'em Sandy! Americans have the right to give more of their earnings to the government and American companies have the right to be burdened with unnecessary regulation! How about that $500 million dog and pony show Obama and Biden threw at Solyndra? Clean energy for the future and clean jobs for everyone! Okay, that was a bad example...

    September 27, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |