Mitch Daniels At CPAC

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels made quite an impression last night at CPAC

I’ve written several times here about Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who many have touted as one of the few Republicans able to bridge the gap between the fiscal and social conservative wings of the GOP. Last night, he spoke at the CPAC banquet and apparently impressed many of those in attendance:

For Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels it appeared that there were not enough metaphors in the English language to describe the failures of President Obama and his administration.

In a keynote speech that Daniels, a potential 2012 Republican White House hopeful, delivered to a room full of conservative leaders and activists in Washington on Friday night, he warned of a “financial Niagara,” complained of an “orgy of regulation,” and lamented the arrival of a “new Red menace” in the form of mounting national debt.

During the 30-minute address that closed the second day of the Conservative Political Action Convention, Daniels served up a speech that was heavy on substance and even, at times, critical of what he called the “venomous, petty, often ad hominem political discourse of the day.”

Though he’s been criticized by some on the right for comments he made last summer suggesting that social issues should take a back-seat while the country deals with its fiscal woes, he made no mention of issues like abortion, same-sex marriage or guns. What he did do, however, was envision a Republican Party that appealed to a broader electorate.

“We will need people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean,” he said, referring to the popular conservative media personalities. “Who surf past CSPAN to get to SportsCenter.”

His remarks amounted to a call to arms for Republicans at the threshold of a presidential election cycle in which Daniels, himself, could be a key player.

“The nation must be summoned to General Quarters in the cause of economic growth,” Daniels said.

This echoes the theme that Daniels has been on for the better part of a year that the nation needs to put aside divisive social issues for the time being and concentrate on economic problems that he characterized last night as ‘the new red menace.’ There’s been plenty of criticism from social conservatives who see this approach as an abandonment of issues like abortion, but Daniels address last night was fairly well received by those in attendance that I talked to afterwords (since I am, of course, from outside the beltway, I was not part of this event). The general consensus seemed to be that it was the kind of speech that a guy who’s planning to run for President would give.

You can watch the whole video, including George Will’s introduction, over at C-Span.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. superdestroyer says:

    Mitch Daniels could not ever convince former President Bush to not spend like a drunken sailor when Daniels was working in the Bush Administration. Does anyone believe that he will have any better success with the American Public or Washington insiders?

    Why are the Republican recycling the failures from the Bush Administration? Unless Daniels can produce a resignation letter that explains that he left the Bush Administration because of the incompetence, failures, short-sightedness, and stupidity, then there is not reason to consider him a potential anything.

  2. “The nation must be summoned to General Quarters in the cause of economic growth,” Daniels said.

    For a party supposedly terrified by shadowy collectivists around every corner, they sure do love faux-military rhetoric.

    I don’t take orders from you, Mr. Daniels.

  3. Franklin says:

    Mitch Daniels could not ever convince former President Bush to not spend like a drunken sailor when Daniels was working in the Bush Administration.

    In fairness, few Presidents listen to the director of the OMB.

  4. superdestroyer says:

    If Daniels has so little charisma, leadership ability, or persuasion ability that he cannot convince Republicans to cut spending, then he has no business in politics.

    Let’s find politicians who have a long history of success and accomplishment instead of failed retreads from the Bush Administration.

  5. ponce says:

    To bad for Daniels a majority of Americans approve of the job President Obama is doing.

    But Daniels does seem like the nice, polite, clean cut Republican who can lose to Obama by 10,000,000 votes and then belly up to the wingnut welfare trough without causing too much fuss that the 2012 election calls for.

  6. […] at Hot Air has more analysis, including text of the speech and a link to video. Also, more from Doug Mataconis, with whom I had a pleasure chatting and holding down Libertarian Alley of Blogger’s Row this […]

  7. Pete says:

    As usual, Ponce contributes the room temperature IQ analysis he/she is noted for.

  8. tom p says:

    “If Daniels has so little charisma, leadership ability, or persuasion ability that he cannot convince Republicans to cut spending, then he has no business in politics. ”

    Name me one, just one,… who fits your criterion (sp?)

    “Let’s find politicians who have a long history of success and accomplishment instead of failed retreads from the Bush Administration.”

    Heh… you gotta go pre-nixon to find those, oops wait a minute. I meant Eisenhower… no not him…. Hoover…. aaaack, Coolidge…. aaaaaahhhh fuhgedaboutit……You have to go back to Lincoln, and your own people will argue about that…. (they want to put Nathan Bedford Forrest on the license plate’s of MS…..)

    oooops wait a minute… You only have to go back as Strom Thurmond.

  9. ponce says:

    “As usual, Ponce contributes the room temperature IQ analysis he/she is noted for.”

    Sorry to dampen your spirits, Petey.

    All the Republicans need for 2012 is someone who can lose with a little dignity.

    Daniels looks up to the task.

  10. TG Chicago says:

    superdestroyer: I see what you’re saying, but I think that could be alleviated by either a) throwing Bush under the bus, saying that Bush blew it (which would make winning the nomination tough… but I guess he might be able to save that talk for the general) or b) convince people that the deficit is entirely Obama’s fault (which of course isn’t true, but the public can be convinced of things that are not true, obviously).

    Maybe he goes b) to win the nomination, then pulls out a) — at least to an extent — for the general.

  11. anjin-san says:

    Daniels is using the National Guard for political grandstanding during a time of war. “Nuff said about him, I think.

    Memo to Mitch – some of these guys may be risking their lives for our country someday soon. Don’t pimp them to advance your career. While we are at it, I am pretty sure their function is not to be used to intimidate unions.

  12. Brummagem Joe says:

    So did Ron Paul and some film version of Atlas Shrugged. Does this mean one is going to be president and the other win an Oscar?