January 24th, 2012
11:02 AM ET
11 years ago

Dick Armey: Daniels could still run

(CNN) – Dick Armey, chairman of the conservative grassroots group FreedomWorks, said Tuesday there was still plenty of time for another candidate to jump in the presidential race, pointing to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels as a possible contender.

"The person who may very well end up being the Republican Party's nominee may not be on the field at this moment," Armey said on CNN's "Early Start."

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Daniels, who flirted with a presidential bid last year, will deliver the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The popular Indiana governor has repeatedly shot down speculation that he's considering a late-entrance run and has yet to offer his highly-coveted endorsement to a candidate.

But Armey, former House majority leader under Newt Gingrich in the late 1990s, said the Republican base is still underwhelmed by the remaining GOP White House hopefuls.

"I don't think anybody that's on the field can emerge in this process with 51% of the delegates," Armey said, adding he wouldn't be surprised if the nominating process continued into the Republican National Convention in August.

Defending his former House speaker, Gingrich, Armey said the Republican frontrunner was taking too much heat for his tenure in Congress.

"Newt had problems, but I don't think that it was accurate to say he resigned in disgrace," he said, responding to recent attacks by Mitt Romney.

Ahead of the Florida primary, the former Massachusetts governor has been hammering the point that Gingrich faced a $300,000 penalty from the House Ethics Committee in 1997.

But Armey, whose tea party group has been aggressively campaigning against Romney, said the point is now moot.

"By the time he left his speakership, he had resolved all the ethical allegations that had been alleged and formally charged against him," Armey said.

Also see:

Gingrich close to 'money bomb' goal

Gingrich lands Fred Thompson endorsement

New year, old fights in Congress

Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Dick Armey • Mitch Daniels • Newt Gingrich • State of the Union
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Stephen

    How? Haven't the filing deadlines for most, if not all, of the primaries passed already? Unless state GOP parties make exceptions, which I don't think they would, I honestly don't see how it's mathematically possible for anyone not already involved to win.

    January 24, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Of course he can run but, can he win? Budget Director for GW Bush? Look where our deficits are now! All due to Bush tax cuts...2 unfunded wars....even Abraham Lincoln knew we needed taxes to pay for the civil war...Media Fail!

    January 24, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Terry - Indiana

    Finally, someone in the GOP Leadership is getting the real picture of this mess we call the Republican Primary Season. It is going to take a true fiscal conservative to beat President Obama. Mitch Daniels was not interested in joining this circus, but he gets my support if he announces at the convention. Daniels can make the tough decisions and get the job done, which none of the current candidates can do.

    January 24, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    The only other person I would like to see jump in is Chris Christie. I would pay big money to see him mop the floor with Obama in a debate.

    January 24, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Bill

    Again, a party at war with itself. You could not scrip a better comedy. Keep it up GOP, you are only making it easier for the president's reelection.

    January 24, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Glenn Doty

    I'm sure it comforts these people to dream about it... but the reality is that Willard will almost certainly rack up more than 1100 delegates by the republican convention. There's just too many winner-take-all states in the contest for the results to be otherwise. After Florida comes Michigan and Nevada – both states sure to go Willard in a big way... then in Virginia Willard and Rep Paul are the only two names on the ballot. By then Willard will be the prohibitive leader. As soon as Newt is seen as a no-win candidate, his funding and support will suffer, allowing Willard to collect the lion's share of the wins, with many of these wins being winner-take-all delegate appropriation.

    HA HA.

    Here's to a sweeping victory for the democrats!

    January 24, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. d

    Oh yes another one! a job killing republican...cant wait!

    January 24, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. mctampa

    What do you mean poplular governor? His approval ratings are in the dumps due to his trying to push through his union busting laws. What kind reporter are you? obviously not one that checks facts>

    January 24, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Bam! Down goes Mittens.

    January 24, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Josaphat Daniels

    Too late, the republicans already have their hands full with nasty newt and mod con mitt

    January 24, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Boy, Armey, thats damning with faint praise: " "By the time he left his speakership, he had resolved all the ethical allegations that had been alleged and formally charged against him." Armey sounds more than underwhelmed. I can never recall any party bashing their frontrunners at this stage of the primary season.

    January 24, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. John

    Ashley– how could FreedomWorks possibly be considered "grassroots?" If a group headed up by a former high level Congressional leader and backed by some of the most prominent political funders out there is grassroots, then who is NOT grassroots.

    January 24, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Ed DFWTX

    Dick Army and his super pac "freedomworks" is what is wrong with America today. Super pacs have given the power to the 1% and wealthy corporations instead of the people.

    January 24, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. unsub

    wow! how screwed up are the repubs. when they are considering another contender?

    January 24, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Sandy

    Daniels is ruining Indiana! He doesn't want to run, because his shenanigans in Indiana will come to light. The people of Indiana dislike him and are planning a big protest to his union busting. Even the NFL union is against him.

    January 24, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Publius Novus

    Yes, former Speaker Gingrich "resolved" all of the allegations against him. In precisely the same way former President Nixon "resolved" the charges against him.

    January 24, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. king

    just like the repubs! they want to shovel some one in that the people never heard of. is this democracy or republicanism. these folks always complaining about something while they are busy doing the same thing they complained about. its amazing how many gullibles they can lead a stray. I admit the repubs been yapping this crap ever since obama took office, and with the rich and powerful who owns the media right behind them i am surprised they dont have the whole country gullibilized. obama is for the people although the people usually go with the ones with the biggest meggaphones. but hes the only one i see that sincerely care about the plight of the american people. dick army and his minions only care about the rich and outsourcing jobs to china.

    January 24, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. NoSchaefferism

    Give it up, Dick. You also predicted a double dip recession for months and months and it NEVER happened! You have an agenda and it is about control and power...for you.

    January 24, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Is this serious

    Of course Daniels wished he could jump in because he sees how much better he is than the others who are left, however, since he chose not to start the process like the others, he needs to stay on the side line. Something can be said about starting from the beginning.

    January 24, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty , Jon Huntsman best people to leads the nation

    January 24, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Hongli

    The Republicans are begging Sarah Palin to throw her hat into the ring night and day but the Wasilla woman is not taking the bait . Come on Sarah ! Where's the fight? Scared of President Obama? You might as well, you little timid----.

    January 24, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. Mark

    They sure sound like they are just begging for a white knight to drop into the game late. But I think it is more wishful thinking than real. Still, if he is right that no candidate would likely even get 51%, if he is correct the field is that underwhelming, then what does that speak for November?

    January 24, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    John - Ashley– how could FreedomWorks possibly be considered "grassroots?" If a group headed up by a former high level Congressional leader and backed by some of the most prominent political funders out there is grassroots, then who is NOT grassroots
    The left promotes organizations funded by George Soros's billions as "grass roots" so what's the difference???

    January 24, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Stop the Charade

    Hasn't Dick Armey done enough damege to the US already? Please retire to your gated community and play golf with your hedge fund friends and leave the rest of America to get on with the business of trying to get AMerica going in the right direction.

    January 24, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What a pitiful statement to make.
    He might as well have said that Romney, GinRich, Santorum, and Nutty Paul all suck , and don't have a chance at bringing "home" the White House.
    None of this, of course, would be news to anybody, but to actually vocalize it by suggesting that Daniels The Head jump in at the 11th and 1/2 hour is admitting and giving in to despair.

    January 24, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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