Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels told supporters in an early-Sunday email that he will not be a candidate for President. Daniels cited personal reasons and said he loves his country but loves his family more.
By begging off onrejecting a run for the GOP nomination, Daniels disappointed many Republicans who saw him as a strong potential nominee infor 2012, given his proven skills as a budget cutter.
Meantime, pizza mogul Herman Cain officially entered the GOP sweepstakes on Saturday, and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty released a video Sunday confirming that he, too, is in the hunt. His official announcement is scheduled to take place today in Iowa, but he jumped the gun and released an Internet video declaring his candidacy last night. in Iowa.
Meet the Press
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan fired back at Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who last week said in reference to Medicare reform plans that he didn’t believe in “Obamacare” or radical social engineering by conservatives. Ryan called Gingrich’s words a “gross mischaracterization” of
the House budget plan he has championed.
What some saw as an effort by Gingrich to position himself as a moderate on Medicare reform elicited a fierce reaction from Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and many of the party faithful. Gingrich spent much of last week backpedaling.
When asked by moderator David Gregory how much damage Newt had done to Medicare reform efforts and, by implication, the Gingrich candidacy, Ryan said: “We need to preempt and avert a debt crisis. …The people in Iowa and New Hampshire can figure this out.”
Gregory suggested that Republicans are “scared to death” of Ryan’s aggressive Medicare plan. “The irony is if we don’t fix these programs,” Ryan said, “people who rely on entitlement programs will be hurt the worst in a debt crisis.”
When confronted with a poll that says 8 out of 10 Americans don’t support cutting Medicare even if it cuts the debt, Ryan brushed off the observation that he doesn’t have a political consensus to pass his version of reform. “Leaders are elected to lead,” he said. “Leaders change polls.”
That certainly sounded like the words of a potential candidate However, Ryan said he is not running for President and would “not get into those hypotheticals.” He added though: “But you never know what opportunities present themselves way down the road.”
Face the Nation
Gingrich continued stepping back from this statement he made on Meet the Press a week earlier: “I don’t think right-wing social engineering is anymore desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”
Yesterday he told moderator Bob Schieffer: “My context was we Republicans…have to explain what we’re trying to accomplish to save Medicare. …I probably used unfortunate language about social engineering. But my point was really a larger one that neither party should impose on the American people something that they are deeply opposed to. …I believe Republicans should start with the Ryan plan, should go to the country and explain it. But we should listen to the American people and find out where it’s necessary to modify it. …This is the beginning of a profound conversation about a fiscal crisis that is going to crush this country.”
Fox News Sunday
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans to support the Ryan budget plan but wasn’t optimistic about its future. “Candidly,” he told moderator Chris Wallace, “none of these budgets are going to become law. And the real action on deficit reduction is down at the White House and the meetings headed by the Vice-President.”
McConnell called the Ryan approach to Medicare “sensible,“ adding: “Nobody is trying to throw grandma off the cliff. Medicare is in serious trouble…. The President would ration care, which will adversely impact grandma. What Paul Ryan would do is to empower grandma in the private market, to shop and get the best possible deal. But regardless of which approach you take, Medicare is going to change or it won't be there for anyone.”