Mitch Daniels’ press secretary: Indiana gov. was not condoning flight of Democratic legislators

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels spoke at a press conference Tuesday to express opposition to the timing of a “right to work” bill that prompted Democrats in the state House to flee to prevent a vote.

At the conference Daniels said, “the activities of today are perfectly legitimate part of the process. Even the smallest minority — and that’s what we’ve heard from the last couple days — has every right to express the strength of its views, and I salute those who do.”

Jane Jankowski, Daniels’ press secretary, issued a clarification to reporters Tuesday evening.

The portion of Daniels’ statement appearing to condone the legislators’ absence, Janokowski wrote in the email, was addressed to pro-union protesters, not the missing legislators.

“There’s been some confusion about some of what Governor Daniels said today at the beginning of his statement,” wrote Jankowski, “He was referring to those who have come to the state house in the past couple of days to express their views.”

Daniels immediately followed the comment saying, “Just to be equally plain, I’m not sending the state police after anybody. I’m not going to divert a single trooper from their job of protecting the Indiana public.”

The Indiana governor has been considered a potential Republican candidate for the presidency in 2012.