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Mitch Daniels 2016: What 5 Liberal Pundits Say About Potential GOP Presidential Hopeful

By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 02:48 PM

When former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels bowed out early from the race for the Republican presidential nomination, political watchers from both major parties breathed a sigh of relief. Almost immediately, calls for Mitch Daniels 2016 surfaced, but Daniels has not done much to fan the flames, maintaining a no-campaign stance as he fulfills his new role as president of Purdue University.

With conceivable funding from the Reagan and Bush camps due to his past working relationship with former presidents, a well-established laser-sharp focus on fiscal matters, and a preference to set aside social issues in favor of broader goals, Daniels concerned both his party’s conservatives and liberal Democrats with his potential, according to the Washington Examiner.

In the 2012 primary race, some Democrats stated a preference for Daniels if President Barack Obama were indeed to lose in the general election. The Democrats' musings could not have helped his position for a Mitch Daniels 2016 run, where conservatives already were irked by Daniels’ statements about taking a break on the party’s social issues.

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A two-term governor for the Hoosier State, Daniels was a chief political advisor for President Ronald Reagan in 1985; and then was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 to serve as director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

He has top-level GOP credentials, which is why it’s surprising that liberal members of the media would offer even a smidgen of praise for Daniels. Here’s what five leading liberal political pundits had to say about Daniels and his potential 2016 presidential run:

1. Hendrick Hertzberg, senior editor and staff writer at The New Yorker, wrote in May 2011: “He doesn’t throw off the crackles of craziness. … I found his effect reassuring. To all appearances, his temperament is undoctrinaire even if some of his economic views aren’t. When it comes to red meat he seems to be a vegetarian.”

“Daniels will be, if not a one-issue candidate, certainly a one-theme candidate, the theme being fiscal responsibility, the deficit, the debt—all that stuff, ” stated Hertzberg.

2. The New York Times op-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd, in April 2011, wrote: “When Mitch Daniels, the Indiana governor and Republican presidential aspirant, dared to urge his party to ‘mute’ social issues, he was smacked.”

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3. Frank Rich, another New York Times op-ed columnist, reporting on the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2011, wrote: “There was one serious speech at CPAC — an economic colloquy delivered that night by Mitch Daniels, the Indiana governor much beloved by what remains of mainstream conservative punditry.”

4. Columnist Paul Krugman, wrote in Feb. 25, 2011, edition of The New York Times: “These days, Mitch Daniels is being held up as an icon of fiscal responsibility. There are a lot of reasons to question his actual stewardship in Indiana; but what I can’t forget is his key role in the squandering of the fiscal surplus Bush inherited. It wasn’t just that he supported the Bush tax cuts; the excuses he made for that irresponsibility were stunningly fraudulent.”

“So I just can’t take his current pose of deficit hawkishness seriously,” stated Krugman.

5. Joe Klein, political columnist for Time magazine, wrote: “And so I plead, as an unflinching American patriot — please Mitch Daniels, please Jeb Bush, please run. I may not agree with you on most things, but I respect you. And you seem to respect yourselves enough not to behave like public clowns.”

Urgent: Who Should the GOP Nominate in 2016? Vote Here Now

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When former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels bowed out early from the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination, political watchers from both major parties breathed a sigh of relief. Here’s what five liberal political pundits had to say about Daniels and his potential 2016 presidential run.
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