Daniels: No decision yet on presidential run

2011-04-30T12:30:00Z 2011-05-01T00:32:44Z Daniels: No decision yet on presidential runBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
April 30, 2011 12:30 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mitch Daniels said Saturday it will be "a few more weeks" before he announces whether he will run for president.

Earlier this year, the Republican governor said he wouldn't announce anything until after the Indiana General Assembly finished its work for the year. Even though lawmakers headed home from the Statehouse late Friday, Daniels said he still needs more time.

"I can't announce a decision I haven't made," Daniels said. "There's not much more to say than that."

The two-term governor said he's heard from lots of people encouraging him to run and he's carefully considering their advice.

National pundits speculated that Daniels' announcement Friday that he will sign a tough anti-abortion law that defunds Planned Parenthood is a sign Daniels is trying to reach out to socially conservative Republican primary voters he alienated in the past.

Daniels famously called for "a truce" on social issues to fix the nation's focus on resolving the country's financial issues.

But the governor said Saturday there was never any doubt he would sign the legislation stripping state-administered federal funds from Planned Parenthood and restricting most abortions to 20 weeks of pregnancy, down from 24 weeks.

"This bill passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in both houses, and clearly this is supported by -- (according to) public opinion polls that I've seen -- and expresses the will of the people of Indiana," Daniels said. "I had no basis for overturning it and no intention to do so."

During a news conference on his education agenda Saturday where the first question was about the presidential race, the governor did poke fun at the increasing volume of chatter concerning whether he will seek to replace President Barack Obama in the White House.

"You know, it occurred to me while I was making my breakfast this morning, if I switched from oatmeal to Corn Flakes someone would say it was a move for the Iowa caucuses," he said.

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