Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels
Updated: Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010, 10:16 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010, 10:09 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) - In four-and-a-half months, we will know for sure whether Mitch Daniels is running for president. That's what the governor told NewsChannel 15 during an interview at his Statehouse office in Indianapolis Wednesday afternoon.
"I think the decision has to come at the end of this General Assembly session, if not before. No later than that," said Daniels . "In fairness to people from all over the place -many of whom I've only read about before- who like this idea [of Daniels running for president], I owe them some kind of an answer."
The General Assembly must wrap up its session by the end of April. Daniels said twice during Wednesday's 30-minute interview that his decision will come no later than that. He also said he has a more practical reason for setting the late April deadline: if he were to run, that would be the latest he could begin to effectively organize a campaign.
Daniels said he'll be weighing two major factors as he decides whether to pursue a White House bid. The first is whether he can run and still "do duty" to his current job, and the second is whether his wife and four daughters are willing to go along with the idea.
If he does run, the governor's shown he's not shy about weighing in on the issues of the day. For instance, he was willing on Wednesday to wade in the thick weeds of the recent deal between President Obama and Capitol Hill Republicans to extend all of the Bush tax cuts as well as unemployment benefits.
While saying there was "plenty not to like" in the deal, Daniels went on to say, "I'm not sure they [ Republicans ] had a better option given the position of Speaker Pelosi and the position of the president. At least keep taxes from going up [for right now] and then maybe have a go at changing and fixing some of these things in a new and different Congress."
Daniels also touched briefly on Indiana's future leadership. Republicans have speculated there could be a primary battle to replace the term-limited Daniels between Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence in 2012.
Daniels said he doesn't expect to endorse a candidate if the 2012 GOP gubernatorial primary is contested, yet hinted that he could.
"Well, I'm not going to talk about it now. Those are two terrific people. I mean, those are two really fine people. And we're so lucky to have them both right now and I hope somehow we have them both serving Hoosiers in some capacity for a long time," said Daniels.
"You don't want to pick sides," Mellinger responded.
Daniels replied, "Well, not today."
Daniels also looked back on Indiana's successes and challenges of 2010, looked ahead to an ambitious legislative agenda for 2011, and talked much more about the needs of the country during Wednesday's interview. Many more portions of that interview will air on WANE-TV on December 27 and 28.
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