Daniels talks to Indianapolis Star reporters about possible run

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels spoke to Indianapolis Star reporters yesterday and gave strong indications that he might step into the race, while simultaneously noting his concerns.

“His answers made clear what we already knew — that he is giving the question deep thought — and underscored how intently he has worked through the issues that would face him and the messages on which he would base a campaign,” wrote Matthew Tully, political columnist for The Star.

“If he runs,” Tully quoted Daniels as saying, “‘it would simply be because I do think, and I hope I am wrong, that the country has put itself in a very difficult place.’”

Daniels told Star reporters that he would focus on the debt, which he sees as a central issue, and also pointed to the need for Medicare and Social Security reform. These are things Daniels feels need to happen almost immediately.

“We’re starting to run out of time,” he told Star reporters.

Despite predictions to the contrary, Daniels does not seem to be running out of time to make a decision on entering the race.

“It’s amazing that we have the luxury of time,” he told The Star, reiterating that he would make his decision after this session of the Indiana legislature ends later this month.

He joked about the rest of the likely Republican field and how mediocre many people consider it to be, saying “It’s always good to be held to a low standard — ‘At least he’s not a freak.’”

But Daniels expressed serious reservations, calling a presidential campaign a “savage process,” a concern he has voiced before. He concluded of the rest of the field: “I like all these folks, and odds are I will likely end up supporting one of them.”

Nonetheless, Tully wrote, the tone of the meeting suggested that Daniels was likely to step into the race.