Daniels, Walker want Romney to go bold
June 10th, 2012
01:39 PM ET
6 years ago

Daniels, Walker want Romney to go bold

(CNN) – Two leading Republicans and top supporters of Mitt Romney offered the candidate some advice Sunday, saying the presumptive GOP presidential nominee had some work to do in strengthening his message.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, often mentioned as a possible GOP vice presidential pick, told "Fox News Sunday" that Romney needed to offer a bold, affirmative agenda.

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"That's the most successful campaign strategy for him," Daniels said." "The American people, I think, will rightly demand to know something more than he's not President Obama."

Daniels added that Romney had work to do in building a consensus across "a broad spectrum of Americans to big changes we need."

It isn't the first time Daniels has offered some tough love for Romney. In April, the governor made headlines when he criticized some of Romney's attack strategies and said the former Massachusetts governor needed to "campaign to govern, not just to win."

"Spend the precious time and dollars explaining what's at stake and a constructive program to make life better," Daniels told The Indianapolis Star. "And as I say, look at everything through the lens of folks who have yet to achieve."

On Sunday, Daniels also said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's survival in a contentious recall effort Tuesday was not a reflection of the Republican Party's standing nationwide.

Democrats led the recall challenge after Walker signed into law last year a measure that curbed collective bargaining rights for most public employees. The controversy quickly snowballed into a massive labor fight that turned the national spotlight onto Wisconsin for more than a year.

"It would be, I think, a huge mistake for Republicans to misread Wisconsin as some kind of great harbinger. I don't see it that way at all," Daniels said. "I mean, there was clearly a threat of 'enough already' vote there that said it is an abuse of the process with all of the recalls. (It's) not even clear that Gov. Romney will be that strong in Wisconsin."

He added: "So he better have an affirmative and constructive message and one of hope. I think that he will, and that's why I think ultimately he'll prevail."

Daniels, who flirted with a presidential bid last year, has forcefully shot down the idea of being Romney's running mate, even saying in April that if he were offered the No. 2 spot, he would demand the candidate chose someone else.

Walker also had some guidance for Romney on Sunday.

"I just hope he takes a page out of President Reagan's playbook in 1980," Walker said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

The governor added he hopes Romney "goes big and he goes bold" and approaches the election as more than just an opportunity to defeat Obama.

"Here in Wisconsin and other swing states, I think that's the key," Walker added. "The 'R' next to the name cannot be just about being Republican. It's got to be about reformer."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitch Daniels • Mitt Romney • Scott Walker
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Reggie from LA

    Seriously. Daniels? Walker?
    These 2 are...some kind of...What the?...Surely Daniels and Walker aren't providing strategies to human beings? OMG!! This article is serious isn't it? Walker and Daniels, propping themselves up as valued advisers? Walker just told us in so many words that now he can get to the business of doing what the Koch's have hired him for. Daniels is just a husk of a person. Sure Mitt. Go ahead and do what they tell ya. Go on, now. Be like'm.

    June 10, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. mjw

    My opinion....this is another rich boy trying to accomplish what dad was unable to do.....no more no less. He has no core value and will be lead by the extreme right wing of the Tea/Party Rebublicans. We will be much worst off than the 8 years under GWB. His record already speaks for him.....Bain Capital.....he likes to fire people...it is not a gaffe. Governor of MA.....47th out of 50 for job creation.....we do not need more firemen, police and teachers.....lay off government workers. We have seen how that work.....does not help the middle class....rich people gets rich. I wonder if he will take the pledge to Grover Norquist or the oath of the Presidency?

    June 10, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  3. Bill from GA

    Streghning his message is a good idea, but WHAT IS HIS MESSAGE???

    Got any details for us?

    How does he plan to pay for all that he promises?

    Voters were fooled by W's lies and gave him two terms; nearly destroyed the world economy!

    Voters will likely be fooled again.

    June 10, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  4. JFC

    "Try a speech without "Obama" or " this administration" in it..."

    Wow, that's actually incredible to think about. What would a Romney speech sound like without those words?

    June 10, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  5. LMB

    Romney will announce his "plan" for the country in due time, well before November. In politics "timing" is very important.

    June 10, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Daniels is correct that Wisconson isn't an indicator of the November election. I don't think that Romney and his staff will understand this.

    June 10, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  7. dnick47

    There is one bright spot I see for the Repulicans if Romney does get elected: he will replace George W. Bush as the most hated President in the history of the Republic. The bush family should be able to take some solance in that. In fact I would dare say Romney will be so hated after 400 days in office, people (even moderates like myself) will look back on GWB and say, "Damn, he wasn't so bad after all!"

    June 10, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. angryoldguy

    This is not your Father's GOP. Or your Grandfather's GOP. This bunch of neo-cons have no plan, no vision and no real ideas except "get that black guy the heck out of the White House!" Go ahead, let's just see how "Bold" you can be! Dazzle me! Show us your "vision" of the future! Oh right, they don't have one. Maybe just go back to the "Bush years". Mark Rubio says he was the "best president ever"! Everyone knows that Mr Potential VP can't be wrong! We're screwed!

    June 10, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  9. Leeroy

    Romney is doing just fine. He's go big and bold when the time is right. Any long distance runner knows you don't start at a full sprint. You have to save some for the end of the race. He's playing it just right.

    June 10, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  10. Leeroy

    Holy cow . . . so many negative and angry comments. Of course . . . this is CNN. Anyway, Romney is doing just fine. He's pacing himself and saving some for the end. As in boxing, a strong finish can mean the difference between victory and defeat when trying to sway the judges (voters in this case).

    June 10, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  11. Larry L

    They mean they want Romney to lie more. They want the typical Karl Rove, "swift boat", steaming pile of crap that the Republican has become. They want more dishonesty, more Fox News spin, and less acceptance for the blame of our current economic situation. They want Romney to "be" a true neo-con.

    June 10, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. Kofender

    No, no, no, you all have it wrong. Gov. Romney can be bold. He's proven he's a sociopath (eg, cutting a classmate's hair by force, strapping his dog to the roof of the car for 12 hours, enjoying firing people). So any day now, he's going to offer his plan: if the American people don't vote him, he's going to get some republican thugs to hold them down while he cuts off their hair, strap them to the roof of his car then, and have them fired as American citizens. He doesn't have a clue on how to be bold when his positions are written on an Etch-a-Sketch.

    June 10, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  13. JC in Western U.S.

    If you think his goal is not, hasn't always been and won't always be money, then you are just oblivious. Not that there's anything wrong with being wealthy. But there's something wrong with being born on third base and saying that everybody on first or second just isn't the player you are, and the fact that you are on third base is all the proof anybody should need of your superiority. The fact that he has been very successful running an investment firm makes me more, rather than less suspicious of him because it was the financial industry that got us into this mess and he runs with that crowd. It's simplistic but I think it's true that he really doesn't have any idea how the 99.9% live and his life long focus has been making money for the .1% Notice the decimal. I said .1%

    Government is not business. It's goal is not to maximize profits for the financial industry, which I grant he is VERY good at doing. My concern is that his concern will be the same one he's had his whole life. Using other people's money to make more money for himself and the other oligarchs. Talk about a fox in the henhouse.

    June 10, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  14. Roy

    Ask Romney if he is willing to donate all of his $250 million to help to pay off USA debt but he can keep his $10 million so in that way we can see if he truly cares about our country.

    June 10, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  15. Dieter Zerressen

    How can Romney be "bold" about anything? He doesn't stand for anything, he doesn't believe in anything, and he has no principles. The positions he held just a few years ago he now disavows. He never presents any ideas, his whole campaign is running down the other side. Asking Rommey to be bold is like asking a fish to walk.

    June 10, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  16. Karm99

    I would love to see Romney step up and set a "Bold Agenda for Government"

    With Romney as the puppet president, and Rove, Ryan, Rush and Rubio pulling the strings, the American people will finally see the horrors they want to instill.

    Their plan to destroy the middle class, cut safety net programs, cut healthcare, cut medical, cut medicaid, eliminate unions and their pensions, reverse environmental regulations, eliminate women's choice. At the same time they want to give more tax cuts to the rich, increase corporate welfare, and spend trillions more on defense weapons.

    Yes, I want their "Path to Austerity" to ring loud and clear.

    June 10, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. GeminiGirl

    Grover Norquist is relishing the possibility of Willard R-Money becoming president because, as Norquist himself said, all they want is someone who can sign & use a pen! And it would be easy for Mitt to become his party's puppet, because he doesn't stand for anything! Who was it that famously said "he who doesn't stand for anything will fall for anything." Yep, good ol' Willard.

    June 10, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  18. paul

    A conservative, a liberal, and a moderate walk into a bar and the bartender says, "hello, Mitt". Says it all. Romney nickname should be "chameleon" .

    June 10, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  19. Ozzie

    First, he'll go bold. Then, he'll go cold. Then, he'll deny what he told. His principles have been sold.

    June 10, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  20. artraveler

    Willard is an empty sack. He stands for nothing except he is white and not President Obama. He can't afford to take a principled position because it will turn off some of his supporters. Now, half believe left is right and the other half believe that left is up. You can't correct that to the right answer without 50% of the people getting mad if you are lucky and not the 100% for your wishy-washy stand on everything.

    You might want to skip debates because the preisdent will eat you alive since you have to think on your feet and you are nothing without a script, or heaven forbid-a teleprompter!!!!.

    June 10, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. Nunya

    Mitt Romney might be a nice guy. I know a lot of "nice guys" ... but Mitt has shown me nothing to compel me to get behind his bid for the Presidency; Nothing at all. He drinks from the hateraide horse trough filled continuously by the GOP ... this is not a compliment.

    By the same token, this country does not need a socialist big-government do-nothing in office either ... we need someone in the middle of the road but with convictions; someone who connects with the American people, not just the wealthy or just the poor, indigent, and old; we NEED a man or woman who stands for ALL Americans and who is willing to do what is right, no matter what side of the aisle the solution agrees with most. In the end both ailes should be American (if not totally polarized).

    Unfortunately, the Presient is only half of the equation ... we need a House and Senate willing to do what it needs to do in the best interest of America, regardless of personal cost. They may speak for their constituents ... but what I see is many representatives completely disregarding the wishes of their constituents and voting with their parties interests instead. Most disturbing is that those same representatives somehow manage to get re-elected by the same people that they habitualy betray while in Washington.

    I want someone that makes Education their number one priority, followed by the Economy and Jobs and who does not put their party before America.

    June 10, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. Jon Lewis

    I'm quite positive that all of you Romney bashers have not been to his web site to see his agenda. You are mostly hysterical because either Paul didn't get the nomination or you're in the tank for the OJT president. I can't wait to hear your wailing come November.

    June 10, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  23. Rabidcon

    The GOP is real concerned with RM's opinion after Wisco. NOT!

    June 10, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  24. carly

    Good luck with that. Romney is a pandering liar and has no message or direction to offer the majority of the American people. Unless you are rich.

    June 10, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  25. luke,az

    Gov Romney is the perfect candidate for the 1%, he'll do exactly what he is told. He is at best a mediocre manager. And by the way the private sector must be doing just fine, the highest salary in Arizona in 2011 is $82,000,000 and is being paid to Richard Adkerson of Freeport-McMoran a mining company.

    June 10, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
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