Daniels: 'I'm not going to take much longer'
May 18th, 2011
12:15 PM ET
9 years ago

Daniels: 'I'm not going to take much longer'

Washington (CNN) – Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says he is moving closer to a decision of whether to run for the Republican presidential nomination.

"I'm not going to take much longer," he told the Indianapolis Star in an interview published Tuesday. Some Republican consultants – unhappy with the current field – are urging him to enter the contest hoping he would provide a new face to the current lineup of contenders.

Daniels did not make any announcements as he travelled to several events in the state on Wednesday. He told reporters Tuesday he had no fixed date for making his decision known but said he would decide pretty quickly.

On Wednesday he said activists in Iowa and New Hampshire have contacted him about his possible campaign and promised he will call upon them for their help if he does decide to enter the GOP presidential sweepstakes or will contact them to explain why he chooses not to run for the nomination, according to WTHR.

One Republican source familiar with Daniels' small circle of advisers and supporters tells CNN the governor's team understands a decision must happen in the coming days in order to raise serious money and mount a robust campaign in Iowa.

With former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty quickly vacuuming up money from top tier Republican donors, time is slipping away for Daniels to get a slice of the pie. "I think they are now realizing that if it doesn't happen now it's never going to happen," the source told CNN. "It's now the eleventh hour."

The governor had been talking to friends about whether to get in but now he has "gone radio silent on his friends," one informal adviser and friend of Daniels tells CNN. Friends and advisers say this will mostly be a decision that Daniels will make mostly himself.

"He plays it very close," the adviser says.

Daniels has been talking to his wife and daughters as he nears a decision. He has cited family concerns as a major factor in helping him determine whether to make a run. He told the Indianapolis Star his family has now had "a lot of time to marinate" on the possibility and said he was ready to enter the final stage of making a decision.

"He hasn't asked anybody to do anything yet" about a presidential bid, the source tells CNN.

Daniels is downplaying the significance of other contenders' fundraising strength. Romney, for example, raised more than $10 million during a day-long event on Monday, and both Romney and Pawlenty are holding major fundraisers Wednesday.

"I guarantee if we did it I think we'd have the best letterhead and plenty of money," Daniels told reporters Tuesday, according to the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette. "I just don't think these things get settled by money. I believe, especially this time with so much at stake…it's going to be a lot more about the quality of ideas. I would guess each finalist will have enough attention and resources to have a shot."

The deadline to compete in the closely watched Ames Star Poll, being held in August, is fast-approaching, and Daniels' backers are confident the governor would appeal to those who would attend the state's caucus because of his folksy manner and Midwestern pedigree.

It is clear from that interview he has given some clear thought about how he would campaign if he decides to enter the nomination sweepstakes.

"Campaigning in a retail way, they tell me, is useful in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire," he told the paper. "And we certainly know how to do that," in reference to his 2004 campaign for governor when he would make a lot of unannounced stops.

Known as a frugal man, Daniels said he would still sleep in voters' homes during a presidential campaign as he did previously in two statewide races. "It not only saves money, but you learn so much."

Known as frugal, Daniels also told the paper he would like to travel in a RV as he did during his gubernatorial campaigns but acknowledges that may be impractical in a national primary campaign. He said would like to avoid the routine photo ops in the early states and instead would like to have meaningful discussions with voters.

"I don't know how you do that in a presidential campaign," he said of that goal. "But you're not going to learn anything (by going) into a restaurant with 60 cameras."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitch Daniels
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. ConservaFASCISTS

    Who cares how long you take Mitch. We are not electing George W. Bush's budget director. The country as a whole is not as gullible as the people of the Hoosier state are. Word of advice: Don't quit your day job.

    May 18, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. debby

    You can wait till 2016 ? You will never repair the damage your party has caused this nation! What makes you think,you have a chance? Thats what I would like to know???? You will have no middleclass or poor vote,thats a "Given"

    May 18, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. C. Howe Yulikit

    Wow, he's thinking about potentially considering the possibility of mulling over the idea of contemplating a prospective reflection on the proposal to take into account the concept of maybe perhaps running for President? By golly that's the decisive leadership we need!

    Imagine if this tool was President when the info came in that Osama Bin Laden was in Abbottabad? There's a difference between prudent consideration of mitigating factors and just plain waffling. All this guy needs is some Maple Syrup.

    May 18, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the brually honest real deal)

    Come on Mitch! Get into the race and WIN it! Obama is a goner come November, 2012. He and the Democrats have done nothing but inflict their miserable failed socialist policies on the country. All we have to show for it is TRILLIONS more in debt, continued HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT, bankruptcy looming in the not too distant future and Obamacare waiting to screw to whole country over. Obama and many Democrats are HISTORY come 2012. Help save us from this Democrat nightmare.

    May 18, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Tim

    Uh, America needs a decisive leader, Mitch – not those of the dithering kind (oops, that sounds like dingbat Sarah).

    May 18, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. ja

    don't run, stay on the porch, all of this posturing, my advice, you don't have a presidential look

    May 18, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Texas Doc

    What is truly funny/worth noting, is that this is the guy that the Republicans are excited about.

    May 18, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Take all the time you want, Mitch. The end result will be the same ... you'll never become President.

    May 18, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. 'merica ruined by rethugs

    Take your time, think it through, no rush. But we've seen failed trickle down theories, a surplus being rapidly dusted into a deficit (under Bush/Daniels). We now know that Daniels is for big govt in women's health matters...
    Bush's budget director = EPIC fail. 'nuff said.

    May 18, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Executive record

    I can really see why people here hate this man. As an executive, he balanced his budget, invested in green/alternative energy, cut taxes, started a state run health savings plan that focuses on health and prevention, and created jobs. We really really do not need someone with those credentials in the WH. Please find me a Republican who was a community organizer and who, as a legislature, votes "present" on major issues. That is the track record we need in a president.

    May 18, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. sandra

    I don't understand the attraction for Mitch Daniels...he was Bush's budget director. Do we need to know more?

    May 18, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    Isn't he a budget guru ? Turned a surplus into a deficit.

    May 18, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What he means is he hasn't finished burying all the skeletons and it's taking longer than he thinks. Follow the money trail to see who he's paying hush money and it doesn't take a genius to figure that out. This boy has some serious baggage.

    May 18, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    No thanks - he was budget direcor for Dubya and kept two wars and tax decreases for the wealthy off the books, just to make the next president have to own them. He's a can kicker. KICK HIS CAN OUT OF POLITICS.

    May 18, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Daniels has previously said family concerns were one of the major issues in determining whether he would make a run.
    -------------------------------------------------–
    "Family concerns", is that code for "Theire is something in our past that we'd rather NOT come to light"? Or " No way in hell we'd get past the vetting process"? Or "We're burying skeletons as fast as we can, can we get back to you"?
    LOL!

    May 18, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. johnmenacherjr

    WOW! I would hate to see this guy make a decision in a crisis period. Then there's the bush director thing. Then there's completein-indecision. My god someone help this unfortunate! He needs meds or something not needed to become a president!

    May 18, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    While there are worse candidates than Mitch Daniels, his defunding of planned parenthood and his poor credentials as Bush's fiscal advisor speaks against his ability to balance any budget. Mitch Daniels would be a serious candidate, but his personal life would be dragged through the mudd and I only see this ending poorly for him.

    May 18, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    Don’t run republicans are begging you now later they will through under the bus like what they did Newt

    May 18, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Palinwho

    So Republicans themselves dont like the current field and are pleading with this baldy to be their leader. Does it matter, Republicans dont have a plan/ideas and the one Paul Ryan proposed, they cant sell it even to their GOP seniors base.

    May 18, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Concerned4Fla

    Didn't this guy balance Indy's budget by a) accepting Federal stimulus money and b) selling Indiana's roads, thus making them toll roads?

    May 18, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. pravaa

    He is not running. Taking this much time to decide....no way.

    May 18, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. GrogInOhio

    Yeah... one of the Bush administration's economic architects... we REALLY need more of that lunacy. Thanks but no thanks.

    May 18, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. Concerned4Fla

    Didn't this guy estimate the cost of the Iraq war at $50B back in 2002? Close...but off by about a trillion dollars.

    May 18, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Paul Ryans Plan to Kill Medicare as We Know It is a Radical Social Engineering says Newt Gingrich. Newt now supports HCR INDIVIDUAL MANDATES like he has ALWAYS done!!!

    When is this dwarf Mitch Daniels going to admit his wife cheated on him and ran away to marry a doctor leaving behind all her kids?!.

    ThaT's a qualification for being a future first lady, NOT!!!!

    May 18, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. The Other Campaign Strategist @ 115th and Amsterdam Ave.

    The GOP needs an intelligent alternative to Obama (This is why some like Newt Gingrich. He can SVENGALI most low-info-voters into believing he is as smart as the President. He is not).

    The GOP wants someone that rejects Healthcare Reform [Romney can't do that and hold any sense of credibility and doesn't have the courage to say he was right and the President was right on so-called "Obamacare".]

    The GOP wants someone that opposes environmental protection measures [Palenty can't be that guy since he is in favor of CAP and TRADE to cut carbon emissions.]

    The GOP needs someone who appears to have the Cool Hand under Fire like Mr. No Drama Obama. [Daniels appears to be their hope on this criteria].

    The GOP needs someone with a solid family life to try to hold up against the strong marriage of Mr. Obama, the clearly devoted and loving wife that the First Lady is, and the beautiful and achieving children that Sasha and Malia are. [ Newt, doesn't fit this bill – American's won't ever see the 3rd wife as a 1st Lady, nor will they embrace Daniel's wife that left him high and dry for another man before returning to him.]

    The GOP can't beat up this Democrat as soft on defense, terror or being a wimp so they only want to fight on "THE ECONOMY". Unfortunately, most thinking people have 12 years of PROOF that the BUSH tax cuts have done ZERO to create jobs or boost GDP (America's annual "income"). They need someone who can say more than "tax cuts for Job Creators" to have any credibility on economic development in America. Unfortunately, the GOP has hung its economic prowess hat on this forever – 30 years or more since Reagan – and they refuse to put the shovel down.

    If only they could get Dr. Frankenstien to take bits and pieces from 10 men then they could create a SuperCandidate that might give the President a run for his money.

    May 18, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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