Mitch Daniels Making Moves to President Run, Truce Abortion Comment Hurting

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 14, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mitch Daniels Making Moves to President Run, "Truce" Abortion Comment Hurting

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 14
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is making moves towards a potential presidential run in 2012 against pro-abortion President Barack Obama. While Daniels has a pro-life record leading the Hoosier state, his comment about a "truce" on abortion is coming back to haunt him.

Daniels has been engaging in private meetings, conversations and fundraising events with top political leaders, policy specialists and business executives, according to a new Politico report.

The dinners, taking place at the governor’s mansion in Indianapolis, are meant to help Daniels introduce himself to heavy campaign hitters and to gauge potential support for a presidential campaign.

“I was very impressed with Gov. Daniels,” said James Huffines, a Texas banker who met with Daniels in June, told the news web site. “I think he’s a fresh face for the Republican Party and I hope he does run.”

Former Rep. George Nethercutt of Washington state, who is now a lobbyist, also told Politico he met with Daniels and came away impressed.

“I hope he will be a candidate,” he said, adding Daniels has the “demeanor, depth of knowledge, seriousness and record" to be successful.

But what Daniels doesn’t have is the good will of pro-life voters, who make up a significant Republican presidential primary election constituency. That’s thanks to his comment in June declaring a "truce" on social issues like abortion.

Daniels told the Weekly Standard the next president "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues."

"We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while," by casting social issues like abortion aside so the next president can focus on fixing the beleaguered economy.

Daniels told WS reporter John McCormack "I don’t know," when asked if he would issue the executive order every pro-life president has done by instituting the Mexico City Policy Obama revoked.

That caused such a stir that Daniels was forced to walk back the comments — later telling reporter Michael Gerson he would sign the Mexico City Policy but saying he would stick to his controversial comments calling for a "truce" on abortion.

That has turned off Matt Archbold, a pro-life columnist at the National Catholic Register.

"Some GOP officials like Governors Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour are urging pro-lifers and traditional marriage advocates to take a seat on the bench and hush their mouths so the Republican Party can focus on economic issues," he writes today. "A smart political play? Maybe. But here’s the thing. I’m not smart."

Someone like Daniels won’t get Archbold’s support in the primary if he continues with the "truce" concept.

"I’m done playing the angles and reading the polls. I’m voting my conscience. Every time," he writes. "We’re being told to ignore our conscience during the primaries and choose candidates who we’re told can win the general election. But why the heck shouldn’t I vote my conscience in a primary? If a majority of Republicans vote for a candidate they don’t really like what you’ll likely get is a candidate that nobody likes."

"I’m voting my conscience. Stop telling me to be a strategist. I’m just a voter who’s horrified at the number of unborn children being killed," he continued. "I won’t be paying attention to the advice of those in the know. I’m officially in the ‘no.’"

So, while Daniels looks for the yes men who can bankroll his campaign and help him craft his stances on key policy issues, he should be aware of the pro-life "no" voters who will look to stronger pro-life candidates when it comes time to replace Obama, the president considered the most pro-abortion in the nation’s history.


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