Daniels sees opening in 2012 field
September 19th, 2011
08:49 AM ET
11 years ago

Daniels sees opening in 2012 field

(CNN) - Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana said it is not too late for another candidate to enter the race for the White House and that he has tried to convince "three or four people" to make the jump.

"Somebody else could still enter and have a competitive chance," Daniels told The New York Times in a weekend interview. "The candidate I could get instantly excited about is someone who is willing to level with the American people and assume they are prepared to listen to the mathematical facts and agree that whatever other disagreements we have aren't as important."

The two-term governor, who publicly considered a presidential bid earlier this year, did not disclose the names of those he urged to run, but did say he was frustrated by the discussions taking place between the current contenders.

He said the candidates have a responsibility to have "more candid and honest conversations" about the economy and specifically entitlement programs and was critical of the back and forth between Republican candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over social security.

Romney has repeatedly attacked Perry's characterization of the program as a "Ponzi scheme" and "monstrous lie."

"I don't think any of this is very helpful," Daniels said. "If there's a problem with 'Ponzi scheme," it is that it's too frank, not that it's wrong. But by stopping there, he might be unnecessarily scaring people."

Daniels, a political veteran, served as former President George W. Bush's director of the Office of Management and Budget. Before he decided against a run for president in May, he made the economy a central theme of his message, suggesting Republicans focus on the country's fiscal challenges instead of the social issues, like gay marriage and abortion that divide the electorate.

But Daniels said the quick rise of Perry's candidacy proves another Republican could launch a successful campaign.

"He proved it wasn't too late, I don't think it's too late yet," Daniels said. "In the wired world we're in, somebody new could get in."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitch Daniels
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Mary W.

    Just so long as it isn't you, Mitch.

    September 19, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. model67a

    Maybe you are a LIB afraid of "Mitch"??

    September 19, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Daniels, a political veteran, served as former President George W. Bush's director of the Office of Management and Budget.
    We should be glad Daniels is not running. As I recall, he was the lone wolf in the Bush administration who cautioned against enacting the BTCs. He warned of trillion dollar deficits within a decade. "Deficits don't matter." The other response was to give Mr. Daniels a pink slip. They fired him.

    September 19, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    I guess he isn't so happy with the choices so far? I wouldn't be either. NONE of them could be beat Obama, even in the economy as it stands now. Go ahead and bring in Mr "noun/verb/9-11" or Simple Sarah. Or even Doofus Jindel. It will not change the outcome

    September 19, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. 1crusader

    It doesn't matter, substantively who Republicans bring into the race.The problem is their ideology..Romney and A Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels' proposals aren't going to differ; and they are basically the same policies that they've always had of cutting taxes and deregulation of business- pretty much what George Bush advocated that has caused millions of people to be put out of work.The business sector is sitting on jobs, waiting for another Republican administration so that they get even more tax breaks, and less regulation, even though that's what messed the economy up in the first place.

    September 19, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  6. Bill from GA

    So Daniels believes in " the mathematical facts ". I guess he noticed how well the country did under President Obama's first year, and understands that we need more Stimulus. And mathematically, the Clinton years were great for the country, with tax revenue from sustainable tax rates adequate to pay down the debt.

    That's right, Daniels, look back to when the economy was working.

    (Granted, that is probably not what Daniels had in mind. )

    September 19, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Greg in Arkansas

    One word.....IPALCO...mitch screwed the shareholders and employees the same way ENRON did....and..he made millions doing it....look it up....can't wait for that to come up if he dicides to run............

    September 19, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |