Mitch Daniels Once “Fired” Donald Trump

Via The Huffington Post, an amusing side story in the Presidential campaign:

Though it may be hard to believe given his mild-mannered demeanor, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is the only potential Republican presidential candidate who can claim to have fired Donald Trump. Back in 2005, Daniels effectively blocked Trump’s attempt to build a casino in the town of French Lick, Ind.

In one of his first acts as governor, Daniels asked for the resignation of the state gaming commission that approved Trump’s plans for a $108 million casino. The move raised tough questions about Trump’s financial viability. Around the same time, the Indiana tax court also ordered Trump to pay an estimated $20.9 million in back taxes. When state gambling regulators delivered a list of demands to Trump including details on the project’s funding, the mogul couldn’t meet a state-imposed deadline and backed out of the project.

Eventually, an Indiana-based group won approval and now runs the casino in town.

Daniels and Trump are currently neck-and-neck atop the polls of GOP presidential contenders. But when asked recently about Trump’s potential as a candidate during a local TV interview, Daniels laughed.

“When I was first elected, he was going to be the operator of one of our casinos and there were problems with it. So we transferred the license to somebody else,” Daniels replied. “Somebody said to me: ‘You’re the first person to say, ‘Donald — you’re fired.””

Something many of us have wanted to say, no doubt.


FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    And believe me, even the most progressive Dems around the French Lick area thank Governor Daniels for this. Trump would have been a disaster, while the casino management under the Cook Group has been a dream.