Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels answers questions Thursday, May 19, 2011, at the Palais Royale ballroom during a breakfast speech in South Bend, Indiana
Four months after he decided against jumping into the Republican presidential race, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana says that he has occasionally been frustrated by the discourse in the campaign and that the field could benefit from at least one more contender whose candidacy was rooted in a message of fiscal discipline.
Mr. Daniels said his party’s candidates had a responsibility to conduct a “more candid and honest” conversation about the nation’s financial burdens, particularly Social Security and Medicare.
“Somebody else could still enter and have a competitive chance,” Mr. Daniels said 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.”
Mr. Daniels, who is among the country’s most respected Republican governors, has not chosen a favorite candidate in the party’s nominating contest. He said the recent contentious exchanges over Social Security between the party’s leading candidates, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, had not advanced the debate.
Please, please a team of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan. Either or both would be better than Romney and Perry.
The observations from Mr. Daniels come as he prepares this week to release a book, “Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans.” In the book, to be released Tuesday, he calls for a new Reconstruction period in the United States and proposes major changes to entitlement programs to help control the deficit and avert “the most predictable crisis we’ll ever face.”
He outlines in stark terms what he views as the nation’s precarious economic condition, suggesting that Democrats and Republicans alike have failed to adequately prepare for a new “Red menace” facing the United States.
“It’s quite possible that some Republican could win next year by just being not the president, but then what?” Mr. Daniels said. “They should campaign to govern, not just win an election.”