Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels Says "No Sir"

Republican Indiana governor Mitch Daniels was pretty straightforward with his answer as to whether he would reconsider jumping into the 2012 race for president.

"No sir."

"I crossed that decision bridge a long time ago. My family did," he added.

Asked whether he thought it was too late in the process for anyone else to get in, Daniels said that while as a technical matter it is not too late to file for a number of state ballots, "as a practical matter, I don't think it's very likely. And I don't know what it would lead to."

Several Republican leaders have expressed concern recently over a primary contest that seems to be growing increasingly ugly.

The governor said "from time to time" he is bothered by the negativity of the campaign but that he doesn't blame the candidates necessarily.

"There's a certain dynamic to the race that leads to a magnification of small differences and people picking on each other," Daniels said.

Daniels has said in the past that Republicans should focus foremost on fiscal issues, leaving aside arguments over other areas of strong disagreement, like social issues.

And while social issues have been prominent in campaign news headlines for the past several weeks now, Daniels thinks the focus will revert back to what he calls the "biggest issues and biggest threats."

"This economy is staggering. It's in very weak shape. It's the weakest recovery ever from a deep recession," Daniels said.

Recent economic indicators might argue that the economy is on the rebound finally, but the former OMB director doesn't believe the president will be absolved on election day.

"If the president thinks he's going to be running on an economic success story, he is headed for a rude surprise in my opinion.. this is not a pretty picture. And we ought not candy-coat it," he said.