(CNN) – Dick Armey, chairman of the conservative grassroots group FreedomWorks, said Tuesday there was still plenty of time for another candidate to jump in the presidential race, pointing to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels as a possible contender.
"The person who may very well end up being the Republican Party's nominee may not be on the field at this moment," Armey said on CNN's "Early Start."
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Daniels, who flirted with a presidential bid last year, will deliver the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.
The popular Indiana governor has repeatedly shot down speculation that he's considering a late-entrance run and has yet to offer his highly-coveted endorsement to a candidate.
But Armey, former House majority leader under Newt Gingrich in the late 1990s, said the Republican base is still underwhelmed by the remaining GOP White House hopefuls.
"I don't think anybody that's on the field can emerge in this process with 51% of the delegates," Armey said, adding he wouldn't be surprised if the nominating process continued into the Republican National Convention in August.
Defending his former House speaker, Gingrich, Armey said the Republican frontrunner was taking too much heat for his tenure in Congress.
"Newt had problems, but I don't think that it was accurate to say he resigned in disgrace," he said, responding to recent attacks by Mitt Romney.
Ahead of the Florida primary, the former Massachusetts governor has been hammering the point that Gingrich faced a $300,000 penalty from the House Ethics Committee in 1997.
But Armey, whose tea party group has been aggressively campaigning against Romney, said the point is now moot.
"By the time he left his speakership, he had resolved all the ethical allegations that had been alleged and formally charged against him," Armey said.