Daniels Appears Leery of Presidential Speculation

There’s a buzz centering around Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) these days: whether he will run for president in 2012.

The Weekly Standard, CBS, National Journal and the Washington Examiner have all run articles the past few days speculating about Daniels political future.

So when Daniels arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday for a discussion about health care reform with Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), it’s no surprise a reporter predicated the first question on Daniels’ possible interest in seeking higher office.

“If you were to become president, would you sign a bill to repeal ‘Obama-care,’” queried a reporter from CNS News.

Daniels didn’t take the bait about his aspirations. But he did answer the policy side of the inquiry.

“As long as it came accompanied by a very meaningful and genuine reform of the system,” Daniels responded.

Later during the session, Daniels demonstrated his leeriness of rampant speculation that he may be considering a bid. And the person posing a hypothetical question about Daniels’ political desires was not a reporter. But Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

“If you happened to find yourself in that position (of being president) and you didn’t see reform as a part of a package, but just repeal, you think the country is better than doing nothing?” probed King.

Daniels paused briefly before answering.

“With the proviso that I’m not answering the first part of your question?” Daniels asked King. “I’m a governor. That’s all I’m expecting and intending to be.”

But Daniels has been down that road before. He previously served as White House Budget Director under President George W. Bush. Daniels demurred when asked if he would run for governor. But later jumped into the fray and voters have elected him twice.