Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — who had for months been flirting with a run for the White House — has decided not to enter the fray, the Indianapolis Star reports.
“I will not be a candidate,” he said, saying his wife and children had encouraged against running.
“On matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision,” Daniels said in a statement. “Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.”
Seeking a credible consensus candidate in a weak GOP field, allies of former President George W Bush had reportedly being encouraging Daniels to run.
Earlier this month, during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, Daniels was still coy about his presidential intentions. Indiana’s aggressive push to defund Planned Parenthood tested Daniels’ social “truce,” but burnished his social conservative credentials in Iowa, the first 2012 battleground. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) recently gave Daniels a tongue-in-cheek compliment on his potential run, saying Daniels could “show that people who don’t have charisma could be elected president.”
But Daniels’ push for a short-term truce on social issues to focus on fiscal issues also drew him ire from social conservative wing of the GOP. Focusing on the deficit at at CPAC in February, Daniels warned of the new “Red Menace,” the nation’s growing debt.
In announcing his decision not to run, Daniels reitterated that worry. “I am deeply concerned, for the first time in my life, about the future of our Republic,” Daniels said Saturday in the statement.
The Indianapolis Star reports:
Daniels had been viewed by many GOP insiders as their best hope, and by many Democrats as a formidable threat. A former political director to President Ronald Reagan and a former budget director to President George W. Bush, he had wide-ranging support among some of the most influential Republican insiders and the ability to raise money. Big money. Fast. And he had what many in the GOP think is the right message: A call to war against what he dubbed “the red menace” of fiscal debt.
Indiana Republican Party Chair Eric Holcomb called the news “bittersweet,” saying he’s “optimistic” another Republican will grab Daniels’ message and run with it.
Here’s Daniels’ full statement:
Over the last year and a half, a large and diverse group of people have suggested to me an idea that I never otherwise would have considered, that I run for President. I’ve asked for time to think it over carefully, but these good people have been very patient and I owe them an answer. The answer is that I will not be a candidate. What could have been a complicated decision was in the end very simple: on matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.
I am deeply concerned, for the first time in my life, about the future of our Republic. In the next few years Americans will decide two basic sets of questions: Who’s in charge here? Should the public sector protect and promote the private sector or dominate and direct it? Does the government work for the people or vice versa?
And, are we Americans still the kind of people who can successfully govern ourselves, discipline ourselves financially, put the future and our children’s interests ahead of the present and our own?
I am confident that the answers will reaffirm the liberty and vitality of our nation, and hope to play some small part in proving that view true.
Read more here.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com