GOP Leaders 'Disappointed' Mitch Daniels Won't Seek Presidency

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By Lawrence D. Jones, Christian Post Reporter
May 22, 2011|10:00 pm

On Sunday talk shows, members of the GOP from across the board expressed disappointment over Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' decision to not run for president in 2012.

"It is certainly a big disappointment," former House majority leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"There are a lot of us that were talking to Mitch and trying to get him to take this race on. My wife and I spent a good afternoon with him, and we have about two million activists across the country, and frankly, we're disappointed."

Daniels announced on Saturday that he would not seek the Republican nomination for president, citing the "interests and wishes of my family" as the reason behind the decision.

In a statement to the Indianapolis Star, Daniels said, "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."

Armey, who in April called Daniels a "perfect pick" for the GOP nod in the 2012 race, dropped the name of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as a potential replacement.

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"Now obviously we have to start looking, and I was just saying this morning, maybe it's time to start drafting Paul Ryan," Armey said on CNN Sunday.

Ryan echoed the disappointment of fellow Republicans over the void left by Daniels in the presidential run.

"I think his candidacy would have been a great addition to this race. And I think it's unfortunate that he's not going to run,” Ryan said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

However, when asked by NBC’s David Gregory whether he would run or be on the ticket as number two, Ryan left only the slimmest chance that he would run.

“It’s not my plan," he said. "I’m not going to get into all these hypotheticals for the future. My point is: I’m not running for president. You never know what opportunities present themselves way down the road."

Meanwhile, Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said in a statement issued Sunday that while he was "disappointed" to learn of Daniels' decision, he respected it.

"I know that his decision was deeply personal and in the best interests of his family," said Coats.

"Governor Daniels was clearly our party's most experienced, balanced and effective potential candidate. He would have brought a remarkable record of leadership and achievement in the very areas most needed, and frankly most absent, at the federal level."

Former House Speaker and presidential contender Newt Gingrich said Sunday that the Indiana governor would have been a "formidable competitor" had he entered the 2012 Republic presidential field.

"I really thought he would be among the frontrunners from day one if he'd decided to run," Gingrich told CBS' "Face the Nation."

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) is expected to announce his candidacy Monday.

Herman Cain, CEO of Godfather's Pizza, announced his decision to enter the GOP race for president on Saturday.

 

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