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Mitch Daniels Ready To "Cut Bait" On Potential 2012 Run

Kevin Douglas Grant |
April 25, 2011 | 10:37 a.m. PDT

Executive Editor

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is quickly developing a reputation as a legitimate Republican contender for the presidency in 2012 - if he decides to actually run.

"I don't want to leave a misimpression. If we get in, we will go all out, and we know a little about how to do that," Daniels told the Washington Post in comments published Monday. "So reluctance or hesitation about running doesn't mean we would be a reluctant candidate if we got there."

CNN reported that Daniels, "the former Bush budget director whose cause célèbre was deficit reduction before deficit reduction was cool", is still "muddled" about whether or not to run.

He's a hardliner on entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, advocating House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)'s plan to drastically cut social services to reduce the national debt.  

The Post reported: "His entry into the race could ensure that a debate between President Obama and Ryan becomes a central issue of the 2012 campaign. More than any other potential candidate, Daniels would test whether voters are ready for the kind of stiff medicine he prescribes.

But Daniels also would challenge his own party, with a message that calls for focusing on fiscal issues over social ones, for appealing seriously to voters who are not part of the conservative coalition and for being prepared to compromise with Democrats to solve the debt problem."

The governor is expected to decide by early May, possibly in time for the first GOP debate in South Carolina May 5. The full rundown on the Republican side:
Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and several lesser-known candidates have formed presidential committees. Newt Gingrich and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who have been moving around early states, are expected to make their final decisions soon.
Businessman Donald Trump, who has leaped to the upper tier in the polls with a media blitz, will make a decision over the next month or so, as will Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). Former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr. will return to the country soon and indicate whether he will run. Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin are hanging back.



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