Daniels explains call for social truce
March 10th, 2011
04:54 PM ET
12 years ago

Daniels explains call for social truce

(CNN) - In a new web video released Thursday potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitch Daniels called his suggestion that potential Republican candidates declare a truce on social issues in the next election "a tactical suggestion."

In an interview with "Uncommon Knowledge," a webcast in conjunction with the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, the Indiana governor said avoiding moral issues during the primaries would prevent the party from alienating voters: "all I was really saying was I don't want to lose one person."

Daniels has repeatedly voiced opposition to using social issues for political gain in the next election. Most recently he told radio host Laura Ingraham he wanted to "mute" topics like abortion and gay marriage for awhile while the country confronts the economic crisis.

But Daniels' comments were met with criticism from other potential presidential contenders and social conservatives. At Monday's Faith and Freedom Coalition forum in Iowa former Pennsylvania senator and all-but-declared candidate for president Rick Santorum told the audience "you can't" call a truce on moral issues.

In Thursday's video Daniels said the country needs to make the kind of changes that will "restore America's greatness."

"All I was saying was we're going to need to unify all kinds of people and we're going to need, freedom's going to need very friend it can get."

Filed under: Mitch Daniels
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. S. In California

    Can you say downlow? That's what this guy is about.

    March 10, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. Dan in FL

    Sure, why tell the voters what your real intentions are. Instead, trick them into voting for you and then pursue a radical right-wing agenda. I didn't say "conservative agenda" because the radical right is not conservative, they're just big government liberals with a different agenda. It's about time America woke up to that fact.

    March 10, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  3. Jon

    Wish I could believe Daniels on this... but, honestly. It's not like the Republicans wouldn't go straight back to it once they were in power. Anybody remember the whole "compassionate conservative" line?

    March 10, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. NobodySpecial

    Yeah, good luck with that. The Right Wing Nut Jobs are going to cry, moan, and stamp their feet to pull temper tantrums on social issues and there's nothing that this Governor can do about it. The Fiscal Conservative wants to sweep moral issues under the rug and leave it there – whatever. Not going to happen. Not when the Tea Baggers have something to weep about it.

    March 10, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. Destroyers of the Middle Class

    The war has been joined my dear Republics. Prepare to reap the whirlwind in 2012.
    Got Whigs?

    March 10, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. guy

    They've already shot themselves in the foot:)

    March 10, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. Charlie

    As an independent who usually splits my ticket between Republicans and Democrats, everything that occurred in Wisconsin really worried me, and this makes it worse! It's like they are advocating for more people to take the Walker strategy- run on an economic issue but then force through your social agenda in the middle of the night, regardless of what you did or did not say in the campaign. I wasn't wild about the Health Care bill, but it wasn't a complete surprise- he said he was going to do it. This just makes it sound like they are going to try and say "the American people sent us here to end abortion/eliminate gays in the military/declare English the official language and Christianity the state religion" when they campaigned on jobs or the deficit. Just because they want something and they happened to get elected doesn't mean the American people wanted it unless it was a big part of their message. You can't hold them to their word if they make a point of being silent on important issues.

    March 10, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. Tom

    I'm not really worried at this point. The democrats are still just as far removed and out of touch with most average Americans in this country, if not just as much as they were back in November when we voted their pals out of office in record numbers. Look, you could run a cold fish against the democrats at this point and it will win by a safe margin of voters. Advice to democrats.. Admit your party has problems, big problems. Stop shifting the blame onto someone else, namely the guy you fired over 4 years ago when you voted for Obama. That doesn't work at your job, and it doesn't work in politics either. At least it shouldn't. And lastly, keep your promises. If not, example why you can't. But don't leave your own party voters hanging out to dry as you have for the last couple of years. They probably weren't conservatives, but they probably are by now after you completely abandoned them through your inaction and campaigning for fringe issues and groups. Otherwise, they could run a sock puppet and the conservatives would probably win the election anyhow.

    March 10, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. Steven Bannister

    I agree with him 100%. There are many potential libertarians out there who are "socially liberal" but "fiscally conservative". By pushing social issues, Republicans will simply lose those voters and Obama will get in again.

    Republicans need to take a lesson from wildly popular libertarians like Ron Paul. It's the economy stupid.

    March 10, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Joshua Ludd

    Its a "tactical suggestion" because its what they have been flogging since they regained the house, despite promises to work almost exclusively on JOBS JOBS JOBS and these social issues are not what the people want them to be worried about, even many of those who support their view of those issues. Also, a number of those issues are slowly gaining support across the nation. Numerous states have legalized gay marriage, for example... and not a one of them has suffered any serious ill effects because of it.

    March 10, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. Bessy

    Never trust a Republican with your money. They will always promise what we want to hear when they seek election and then forget all unless it helps the rich. There aim is to destroy the middle class and they are well on the way to do this.

    March 10, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. JV

    Once, when I was a registered Republican, I remember watching the crowds' reaction at the RNC's Convention when Gen. Powell said the Republican party needed to be more inclusive. Few applause, many puzzled faces. This guy, with his middle of the road approach in this political environment, will be ridiculed. Republicans are not reasonable people.

    March 10, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. shane

    Then how do you suppose a republican will get elected if not for wedge issue? Crickets.......

    March 10, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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