In February, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) addressed the gathered faithful at CPAC and delivered a dire warning. “In our nation, in our time, the friends of freedom have an assignment, as great as those of the 1860s, or the 1940s, or the long twilight of the Cold War,” he said. “As in those days, the American project is menaced by a survival-level threat.”
‘What could it be?’ those gathered wondered. Another attempted socialist coup from the Democrats? Daniels informed them “I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence.”
Yet in an interview this past weekend, Gov. Daniels appeared horrified by the incendiary language being tossed about by the current crop of GOP candidates. The same man who once warned that our nation’s debt was ‘the new Red Menace’ told the New York Times that his party’s candidates had a responsibility to conduct a “more candid and honest” conversation about the economic issues facing the nation.
The governor specifically directed his comments at front runner Rick Perry, noting that his characterization of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” simply isn’t very helpful. Daniels explained, “If there’s a problem with ‘Ponzi scheme,’ it is that it’s too frank, not that it’s wrong. But by stopping there, he might be unnecessarily scaring people.”
Daniels observed that wasn’t too late for a new candidate to enter the race, and even seemed hopeful that somebody new would in fact choose to do so. Though he declined to name names, Daniels admitted that he had “tried to recruit three or four people.”
“The candidate I could get instantly excited about is someone who is willing to level with the American people and assume they are prepared to listen to the mathematical facts and agree that whatever other disagreements we have aren’t as important.”