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 stakeā€¦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. EatRunDive

    Mitch, if you don't know by now, the answer is NO!

    May 18, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Greg in Arkansas

    I used to live in Indiana and I STILL remember the IPL scandal where Daniels made millions (insider trading?) and the stockholders got the shaft, just like ENRON.

    May 18, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. realitybites

    Is anyone detecting the quiet desparation going on amongst the Regressives. "I'm not running this time". "Oh, please won't you reconsider and give us an answer soon?" "Well maybe, I have to think about it but, probably no. I'll get back to you on this matter when I weigh all the options and talk it over with my family." Sad part is that it looks like a college basketball team scraping the bottom trying to find a hidden gem in the garbage heap. " Oh, God! Times is running out and we ain't got Jack Squat but, an old has been, a harpy, and wide eyed evangelist kid. Some PLEASE find someone soon, this is EMBARRASSING!!!!"
    Sorry for my gloating but, this is fun. Kind of reminds me of past elections against strong sitting presidents that the opposition hated. They are scared to death that if Obama gets into office, one of our decrepit Supreme Court justices will exit and their chances of reversing Roe V Wade will vanish like Cinderella's pumpkin coach. That is a main reason why folks vote soley republican. Really sad but, true. I wouln't be surprised if they'd vote for the Devil himself if he said he was anti-abortion. Well, here's to you desparation. I'll drink a toast to your crumbling hopes at returning America to your fantasy of what was once great for the WASPs but, not so much anymore.

    May 18, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. indydave

    Daniels is nowhere near as stupid as most of the Republican field, and he has said a few things I very much support – most importantly that he wants a truce on social agendas in favor of focusing on fiscal ones. If he hadn't caved in on that one like a house of cards recently, signing the bill to yank funding from Panned Parenthood here in Indiana (only a fiscally-motivated move if you take the extreme and dim short view of saving a few bucks today that will doom you to spend millions more next year), I'd almost like him. But he caved, based on bad facts, a baldly regressive and religious social agenda and pandering to the extremists, and I don't trust him any farther than I can throw him. I would not vote for him against Obama.

    May 18, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Dot

    Ooooh . . . the suspense is killing me.

    May 18, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. BT

    you are not even close. stay home

    May 18, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. 'merica ruined by rethugs

    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.
    According to the CNBC/Forbes.com, which annually ranks states according to business climate, Indiana has a $1.4-billion budget deficit as of FY2011. Oops - pesky fact #1

    Daniels' response to the OMB's critics was that a balanced budget "is not the highest priority." The deficit continued to grow during Daniels' entire tenure Oops - pesky fact #2

    May 10th: Daniels signed a bill to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. The law cuts off about $3 million in public funds used to pay for services such as birth control, cancer screening and tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Oops - pesky fact #3

    The unpaid-for expenses of the Iraq war soon made the country's deficit worse than predicted, but even before the war, Daniels defended going into debt. "It is not the top, let alone the only priority," he observed of the deficit in 2003, when President Bush submitted a budget with a $304bn shortfall. - the biggest pesky fact of all.

    Truth once again has a liberal bias.

    May 18, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Tulsa

    Hey "exec rec",
    Wasn't this guy the financial guru under Bush II?
    Nuff said. he's dead.

    May 18, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. GL

    He wife is a cheater and she is no Mrs. Obama. His wife left her small children to play house with another man and it sill not sit well with most American mother. This race is going to be about character.

    May 18, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. A. Goodwin

    Bush's budget director...um, thanks but no thanks. We've seen the damage he can do!

    May 18, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Publius Novus

    If it takes him this long just to decide whether to run, how long would it take him to decide when he gets the 3:00 a.m. telephone call?

    May 18, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. vet in texas

    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.
    If only you were as clairvoyant in 2004, I wonder what kind of country we would have then? The fact that you voted for W twice, means you have no credibility when it comes to knowing a good president, and you have contributed to at least 11 trillion of debt, record unemployment, and the loss of dear family members searching for WMD told to us by the person you picked twice, take a bow and accept your responsibility for your irresponsibility. Your worse than Santorum and his "what I've read".

    May 18, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. American

    Who cares how long he takes? Daniel's public statements apparently mean nothing sorry to say. One moment ol' Mitch is calling for moderation on ridiculous social "issues." Then, flip-flopper Daniels panders to an extreme by taking away healthcare from American women.

    No thanks, Mitch.

    May 18, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Publius Novus

    @Executive record. Uh huh. What we really need is a budget meister who turned a $250bb surplus into a $700bb deficit in the space of a couple of years. Yeah, we need more of that stuff!

    May 18, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. lynn

    Before he decides, take a trip Mitch. Drive along the southshore of Lake Michigan, Hammond/Gary and on to South Bend. Then honestly say you've done a great job as Gov. of Indiana. The beautiful shores of Lake MI, are now filled with nothing but rusted hulks of has-been companies. The steel mills are an eyesore, long gone but not forgotten if taking a train from the east coast to Chicago, they stand out like skeletons against the lake waters. OK, Mitch, explain why the jobs are all gone in Indiana and how you'll bring jobs to the U.S.

    May 18, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. mesamick

    Daniels says "I'm not going to take much longer" but what he really means is...

    "Just as soon as my wife lets me"....

    May 18, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    If he has not started a fund raising organization, then he is not running. It is getting to be way too late to start one.

    May 18, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. jaywingfuller

    I can help, Mitch. Don't run. There, all fixed. Now, go back to obscure-ville with your GOP (Greed Over People) buddy the Donald and company.

    May 18, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the brutally honest real deal)

    you don't have a presidential look
    Yes, and we all know that looks are THE primary qualification for the job. But what if he had virtually no experience, never took a stance on issues but gave good speeches, a LOT of speeches, speeches until you were sick of speeches, ran up trillions IN DEBT and ordered the bombing of an arab nation in civil war? Then I guess he might be worthy of your consideration?

    Dolts like you are why Abraham Lincoln could never get elected today. How unbelievably shallow you are.

    May 18, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    GW Bush's former budget director? Uh,,no thanks.

    May 18, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the brually honest real deal)

    This guy is a joke like the rest of the GOP clowns. Obama/Biden 2012

    May 18, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the brually honest real deal)

    There is only one man fit to lead us further and that is President Obama. Obama/Biden 2012

    May 18, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. OneMoreTime

    @ executive record.............Guess he learned a few things after crashing the American economy while serving as Budget
    Director for the Bush Administration. Your silly name calling and "old news" arguments are like the entire Republican/
    Teacan'ts, just leaky buckets. They don't hold water.

    May 18, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    @Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the brually honest real deal):

    He's the GOP answer to Michael Dukakis: short and boring. He only lacks competance and a tank to drive around in. Seriously, if Bush's former budget director is the best you can come up with, Obama will have no problem taking him out. Of course, he's had to back off his comments about scoial issues, and leaped on the bill denying Planned parentlhood funding: never mind the fact only 3% goes to abortions, but he's got to keep the clinic bombers and militia types happy that he's using the state to interfere with private decisions. Got to love that " Social Engineering" the conservatives engage in every day, trying to create the society that only existed in a 50's Walt Disney movie. Love those rubber spines the GOP comes equipped with these days!

    @ Executive record:

    He was Bush's budget director, and he cut taxes and increased spending while in that job. How can you ignore his record there? He did not create jobs in Indiana, the state was decimated during the collapse of 2008, adn he has used that crisis as an excuse to break unions. He is a cynical politician, and an uninspiring, boring manager. We have a leader already, and the reason your man is hesitaiting is that he knows he will have his butt handed to him in a general election. I hope his wife will persuade him to gracefully retire: maybe a FOX analyst is a possibility? I hear they are hiring.

    May 18, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the brually honest real deal)

    I'm want to apologize to everyone on this comment board. I called President Obama a socialist and that is wrong. I don't even know what a socialist is. If I did then I would know that President Obama is the furthest thing from a socialist. Obama/Biden 2012

    May 18, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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