Daniels, Walker want Romney to go bold
June 10th, 2012
01:39 PM ET
11 years ago

Daniels, Walker want Romney to go bold

(CNN) – Two leading Republicans and top supporters of Mitt Romney offered the candidate some advice Sunday, saying the presumptive GOP presidential nominee had some work to do in strengthening his message.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, often mentioned as a possible GOP vice presidential pick, told "Fox News Sunday" that Romney needed to offer a bold, affirmative agenda.

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"That's the most successful campaign strategy for him," Daniels said." "The American people, I think, will rightly demand to know something more than he's not President Obama."

Daniels added that Romney had work to do in building a consensus across "a broad spectrum of Americans to big changes we need."

It isn't the first time Daniels has offered some tough love for Romney. In April, the governor made headlines when he criticized some of Romney's attack strategies and said the former Massachusetts governor needed to "campaign to govern, not just to win."

"Spend the precious time and dollars explaining what's at stake and a constructive program to make life better," Daniels told The Indianapolis Star. "And as I say, look at everything through the lens of folks who have yet to achieve."

On Sunday, Daniels also said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's survival in a contentious recall effort Tuesday was not a reflection of the Republican Party's standing nationwide.

Democrats led the recall challenge after Walker signed into law last year a measure that curbed collective bargaining rights for most public employees. The controversy quickly snowballed into a massive labor fight that turned the national spotlight onto Wisconsin for more than a year.

"It would be, I think, a huge mistake for Republicans to misread Wisconsin as some kind of great harbinger. I don't see it that way at all," Daniels said. "I mean, there was clearly a threat of 'enough already' vote there that said it is an abuse of the process with all of the recalls. (It's) not even clear that Gov. Romney will be that strong in Wisconsin."

He added: "So he better have an affirmative and constructive message and one of hope. I think that he will, and that's why I think ultimately he'll prevail."

Daniels, who flirted with a presidential bid last year, has forcefully shot down the idea of being Romney's running mate, even saying in April that if he were offered the No. 2 spot, he would demand the candidate chose someone else.

Walker also had some guidance for Romney on Sunday.

"I just hope he takes a page out of President Reagan's playbook in 1980," Walker said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

The governor added he hopes Romney "goes big and he goes bold" and approaches the election as more than just an opportunity to defeat Obama.

"Here in Wisconsin and other swing states, I think that's the key," Walker added. "The 'R' next to the name cannot be just about being Republican. It's got to be about reformer."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitch Daniels • Mitt Romney • Scott Walker
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    No, no Mr. Romney, I am a life-long Democrat, but I suggest you stay the course. Don't play Mr. Obama's games. Keep your campaign as clean as possible.

    June 11, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  2. Common Sense in GA

    Love posting on an obviously liberal web site. Romney has real world business experience; Oblamer doesn't and it shows. 3.5 years of trial and error(mostly errors) and you people want to re-elect him? Thats the true definition of insanity.

    June 11, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  3. Jimm

    I agree with both Daniels and Walker. The problem for Romney is that once people actually see his plans, they don't like them. Tax cuts for the wealthy, spending increases for defense, cuts to everything else incuding education, medicare, healthcare, infastructure. More deregulation of Wall St and the oil companies.

    That's why Romney is basically in hiding.

    June 11, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  4. FiscallySane

    Lol... Look around you libs, your utopian experiment is crumbling to the ground around you. All your bastions of liberalism are decaying pieces of corrupt government trash that are bankrupt. Chicago, (and the state of Illinois), Detroit (and the state of Michigan), California, New York, etc etc etc. All run by dems/libs, and all are bankrupt with unemployment way above the national average. Compare that to the states that took over from dems who thrashed the states previously and who now, under Republican governors, are turning it around; Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, and I won't even bother to point out the states that have been run by Republicans for a long period of time that are doing better than any of the other states, ala Texas. All balancing the budgets and the states as a whole are the ONLY bright spots on in the US economy. Now we move to the national level and what a traffic accident Obama's policy and corrupt white house have been. It's time to return to sanity under a Republican who can do what Republican governors did for the states, only at a national level. The results are in libs/dems; your philosophy and ideology is a failure yet again.

    June 11, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  5. Indyswimmer66

    Daniels and Walker are sounding the correct alarm! Romney's been campaigning for 4 years and we still don't know anything about his plans! Has he any Plan "IF" he wins? As was mentioned above, "Tax cuts for the wealthy, spending increases for defense, cuts to everything else incuding education, medicare, healthcare, infastructure. More deregulation of Wall St and the oil companies!" What will change... or not... if he's elected?

    June 11, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  6. Common Sense in GA

    Jimm, when was the last time a poor person created a job? The wealthy create the jobs. As far as cutting education and medicare thats like asking a 500 lb person to slim down to 300 lbs.

    June 11, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |

    I think Romney is smarter than many of his critics. Especially big govt types at Fox news who thinks government should have a big plan. To win against an incumbent President during bad economic times, the strategy is to try to get others to attack Obama all why just keeping the image of a smart business guy. Offering up ideas just puts the attack on him.

    June 11, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  8. curious

    Rmoney is king of pandering. He will promise you the world. Somtimes it's not so good to be king.

    June 11, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  9. curious

    TO COMMON SENSE IN GA. America suffered 28 straight years of budget deficits from Nixon to Bush. But somehow you see republicans as being fiscally responsible. Now that's nuts.

    June 11, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    It's too late for Romney. He is who he is - a man without principles. He started his campaign on based lies and at this point there are few, if any, who would believe anything that comes from his campaign.

    Any "vision" Romney comes up with now is just that ... empty promises. It's all he's ever run on and why he has lost more elections than he has won. Romney has spent his entire political career trying to be whatever the audience he is currently speaking to wants him to be. Once he travels to the next audience, Rommey reinvents his comments for that audience.

    In the end, he turns off everyone.

    June 11, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. demogoat

    Neither one of these guys has a chance to do anything unless congress gets back to work. Obama has been screwed by the GOP leadership. 9 weeks off this year already, without the slightest interest in doing a single thing for anyone. Romney will face the same problem with the senate. I agree with conservatives on many issues. However, negotiation is the glue that keeps us moving forward. Without negotiation from both sides we are stuck, or even going backwards.

    June 11, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Expat American

    I'd like to hear Romney's message. So far he has focused on one-line zingers and staged campaign stop photo ops – good for the 24 hour news cycle; but when is he going to take this bold stance that some within the GOP are beginning to speak of?
    For example, how is Romney going to take care of white, poor, uneducated, Republican voters? Bush didn’t spend too much thinking about the GOP Party base. McCain only planned on continuing Bush’s ignorance that these people actually exist. What is Romney going to do? Not all Republicans are millionaires and billionaires. Even if it seems like many are sometimes.

    June 11, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Larry L

    @Will G.

    The contrast couldn't be any clearer. Romney creates value in everything he touches using private investors' and his own money which was earned. Obama pays off his circle of friends and himself with unearned public money, creating debt in everything he touches. Start with his Choom Gang (selling dope), look at the disaster of Altgelt (sp) Gardens in Chicago, the Annenberg Committee, onward to the big taxpayer trough of the US Presidency. Study for yourself, seek truth and don't be deceived. God Bless America.
    Ahhh... another right-wing conspiracy theorist with the "truth". You always neglect the truth about the Republican administration getting us in this mess them obstructing progress. Blaming Obama for the deficit is like blaming the fire department for the water bill – after they put out a fire you started!

    June 11, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Pete

    @Fiscally insane,have you checked your republican run states,Ohio,Florida,Wisconsin,Indiana,they're all embroiled in union busting and destruction of state governments as we now know ,450,000 jobs lost,ya proud of that!Republicans,like your elustreous Pres.Reagan after firing the air traffic controllers were happy at his insane actions too,but that sector of jobs,the controllers being hired nonunion after that were never the same,constantly running below par in professional ethics and production,now needing two contollers at most air ports to do the work of one,that's not cost efficient or professional.These state residents who voted for these cost cutting measures with their republican governors will ultimitly suffer because of the lack of services ,the results of layoffs that spread less people over a larger area.Teachers with larger class sizes will suffer with the lack of educational requirements,police canvassing larger areas will see crime increases,possible more lives lost,firemen will see slower response time meaning more residual damages from fires or other related incidents,possible loss of lives,property,insurance rate increases,paramedics slower response,higher fatality rates,lawsuits incuring because of coverage issues,the slower response times,cities and states involved.That's your tax monies if any of these classes of professionals fail,because of your extremist views and actions ,citizens in all states involved will suffer,you as well,you're not above the fray,its ignorent people like you that turned Bush 41-43 on us,we're still paying for their and your mistakes.Remember that when your home is on fire or you need medical assistance,your property,life may be on the line,but that's too bad ,it might be too late in most instances to get to you either with the cutbacks you've voted on.Your children's education as well,ya better check on that expensive private school,you voted for it,ya got it,live with it hypocrites...

    June 11, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Buckeye

    LOL @ Common Sense.
    The type of person that buys that "job creator" nonsense. Those job creators need those tax cuts because since they've had them courtesy of the shrub, they've been pumping jobs non-stop on us here in the US, right?
    Those US companies that have been posting record profits and stockpiling cash are just creating more jobs here than we can handle, we're flooded with jobs. Make those job creators stop.

    June 11, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. rs

    Mr. Romney is incapable of bold. He has demonstrated that he can deliver weak "zingers", he can criticize, and apparently his real strong suit is outright lying. Bold, no. Worms aren't bold.

    June 11, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Critical Thinking

    I think Romney should focus on the independent voters by laying out his policy in three key areas: Tax Reform; broadening the base to include more americans to have a skin in the game, reducing the non-payers from 47% to 15%. Then those who would be paying for government might be more interest in knowing what this government is doing with their money. Right now, they don't care because they don't contribute. The scond area is spending reform; begin to layout to the american public a position of returning government spending on agencies to 2006 levels, reducing those agencies by 20% in the first two years. Then define new retirement ages and social security and medicare benefits for those under age 45. And finally and energy policy that would focus more on our national resources of natural gas and coal, as bridge fuels to more efficent cleaning sources of energy. It is time to turn this fiscal ship around. BO MUST GO!

    Also, recent reports inidicating Biden for 2016 I believe to be a prelude to this election year. I think that key democrats know that there is a potical and catastrophic event that will soon play its self out that will criple this president from seeking a second term and some key democrats, including Bill ClintoN, Ed Rendell and Joe Biden are quietly positioning themselves for that outcome. It may be the fast and furious or possibly the leaking of confidential information but something is going to happen in late summer.

    June 11, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. DavidinTX

    The difference in this election is stark! One side believes in government "helping" people the other believes in self reliance and larger freedom.
    The big government group has largely been in charge for 75 years regardless of the party in power, the social welfare expansion in that time period is what is causing the deficits that threaten this sovereign countries ability to remain solvent. There is ample evidence of the profligacy of government and the reality of Franklin's comment "When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." Yet there remains a 40 to 50% of the voting populace which insists that we have to be "fair" and apparently not pay any attention to the balance sheet, which clearly projects our inability to afford any more "fairness". It really is about time that we looked at the budget and fixed it, this is about dollars and survival, not politics.

    June 11, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The only job that Willard actually created was hiring a gardener who he then had to fire because the guy was an illegal from Mexico (just like Willard's dad). Also, we have now that close to 12 years of the Republican-led "trickle-down" economics (anyone else remember when Dubya's dad referred to it as "Voodoo Economics?) that was supposed to allow for job creation. Haven't seen too many of these jobs created yet, so why should we continue with something that only serves to let the top 1% of the top 1% not pay their fair share of taxes? Whenever they claim that they are already paying the lion's share if income taxes (about 60%), I really have to ask that if they control about 90% of the income and are only paying 60% of the taxes, then who is paying the rest? Could it be those of us in the 99% who only make about 10% of the income? That means we are paying far more than our "fair share" of taxes!

    June 11, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Badley

    Romney is just a another version of Geroge Bush (a little smarter), if he is elected we will be on the brink of disaster again. Obama is one of the most articulate and intelligent men we have ever had as president, I would like to see Romeny and Obama take an inteliigence test, I would be willing to bet he would blow Romney away! Romeny is not a probelm solver he just will be puppeted around by this "Do nothing rebulican Congress" and there only motivation is not to make thins country better but to Win more seats and the Presidency they treat it as a big game whe they really should be tryign to fix this country.

    June 11, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Larry L


    The difference in this election is stark! One side believes in government "helping" people the other believes in self reliance and larger freedom.
    You are somewhat correct – the "self reliance" (A.K.A. Tea Party Republicans) side absolutely does not believe in helping MOST people. They do believe in "helping" the uber-rich, oil companies making huge profits, any industry willing to pollute our environment, and the offshore banking industry. Trashing Medicare and Social Security will be their "help" for the elderly. Their belief in "Larger Freedom" includes the right to require vaginal probes of all women seeking an abortion, discrimination against gay people, and deportation of immigrants who have contributed to our society for over 20 years.

    June 11, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. Dave

    Romney doesn't HAVE anything other than not being President Obama. Truth is, nobody likes this guy. Even the Republicans can't stand him... they just picked him because they knew that the people they DO like are so insane that they'd never get a majority vote.

    Romney is an empty suit with nothing to reccommend him. Obama is imperfect, but electing Romney would be a HUGE mistake. His whole agenda is redistrubting wealth from the poor to the rich who already have too much and are not creating jobs with it. How long of a trial run does that theory need to have before you can dismiss it? The rich have had huge tax cuts in place for a decade now and they haven't been creating jobs... except maybe in China and India. Policies like Romney's are what got us in this mess in the first place. If you elect that corporate stooge, this country will fall like Greece before the end of his term. With Obama, recovery is slower than anyone likes, but at least it IS recovery. Romney would move us in the opposite direction... but, some Republicans would let that happen, just so their "team" can win. This is sports to them, not governance.

    June 11, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. Bob

    "One side believes in government "helping" people the other believes in self reliance and larger freedom"

    Translated: One side believes government can be a force for good.

    The other side believes that Ayn Randian crap "every man for himself" and the rich get richer.

    You CANNOT claim to be a "Christian" and espouse the second view.

    They are totally incomptaible.

    June 11, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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