Daniels: Romney’s campaign is too negative

posted at 12:46 pm on April 20, 2012 by Tina Korbe

That Mitch Daniels endorsed Mitt Romney doesn’t mean he’ll offer nothing but unqualified praise of the former Massachusetts governor. Today, the Indiana governor delivered some tough love to Romney, whose campaign Daniels described as too negative.

The governor, who’s often cited as a potential Republican running mate for Romney, reportedly told the newspaper that “political victories that follow ‘slash-and-burn’ campaigns seldom lead to great accomplishments,” referring to the already-bitter war underway between Romney and the president’s re-election campaign.

“Spend the precious time and dollars explaining what’s at stake and a constructive program to make life better,” Daniels said. “And as I say, look at everything through the lens of folks who have yet to achieve.”

The writer of the piece, Matthew Tully, wrote that Daniels took a pause, then continued with disappointment: “Romney doesn’t talk that way.”

He added: “You don’t change one thing about the policies you advocate or your principles,’ he said, noting instead that candidates should simply make clear how their policies would lift up those who are struggling.”

Daniels implied that he thinks Romney is campaigning to win — but not necessarily to govern. The kind of campaign style Daniels outlines is ideal, but the Indiana governor forgets that Romney has to win to be able to govern. Plus, Romney is up against the Campaigner-in-Chief who won in 2008 precisely by campaigning to win and who in this election year has governed shallowly, in a way to try to help his campaign.

Romney has been running for president for more than four years and his policy proposals are fairly well-developed. In every interview, he works in substantive policy information. Take his interview with National Review Online yesterday: He discussed his plans to expand energy development in this country, along with his plans to clean up a corrupt bureaucratic culture and administer the executive branch more efficiently than the president. From a horserace perspective, though, the most memorable lines in the interview were jabs at Barack Obama’s lavish vacation habits and dog-eating. Romney said he’d have “no time for elaborate vacations” as president. Later, he said, “I don’t recall that I’ve eaten anything truly bizarre.” True, interviewer Jim Geraghty baited him into both sound bites — but, nevertheless, those kind of savvy witticisms stick on the campaign trail.

Indeed, it’s been the most pleasant surprise of all to see that Mitt Romney and his team will flex their rapid-response muscles again and again until the president backs off of petty attacks. If the president continues the attacks, he’ll continue the counterattacks. The strategy is such to pique voters’ interest in the man from Massachusetts, who, until now, has come off as a little, well, dull. Interest piqued, they’ll pay attention to his policy proposals — and, for the most part, they’ll like what they read.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Daniels is a good (not great) governor. He would have sucked swampwater as president. I don’t think it matters, though. I believe Mittens sees himself as too lofty to take advice from some governor of a flyover state he won’t give a crap about after November.

swinia sutki on April 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

The kind of campaign style Daniels outlines is ideal, but the Indiana governor forgets that Romney has to win to be able to govern. Plus, Romney is up against the Campaigner-in-Chief who won in 2008 precisely by campaigning to win and who in this election year has governed shallowly, in a way to try to help his campaign.

Another Romney is like 0bama factoid. Who would have thunk it. /s

Neither Romney or 0bama can afford to run on their records. They are both too liberal for America.

DannoJyd on April 20, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Romney is a veteran of political campaigns and he knows exactly how negative he needs to be because that is how you win elections. He also knows how to govern, so I’m not worried about what it’ll be like when he is President.

OxyCon on April 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I told y’all that the long daggers of Willard were meant only for Conservatives that opposed him.

He’ll never take the fight to Obama like he did to Rick, Newt, and Rick.

HondaV65 on April 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Yeah you told us. eyeroll. What the heck are you talking about?
Is that really how you interpreted Daniels statements or do you just like to say “I told you so” when it’s completely inappropriate?

Buttercup on April 20, 2012 at 2:55 PM

He also knows how to govern, so I’m not worried about what it’ll be like when he is President.

OxyCon on April 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Glad you’re not worried. I’m scared sh*tless.

swinia sutki on April 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Romney is a veteran of political campaigns and he knows exactly how negative he needs to be because that is how you win elections. He also knows how to govern, so I’m not worried about what it’ll be like when he is President.

OxyCon on April 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I hope you’re right, but Romney governed Massachusetts as a Liberal. I’ll vote for Romney to get rid of Obama. But after 2012, I’ll be looking 3rd party.

Gladtobehere on April 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Daniels is such a pu$$y. And people were thinking he would have been a good candidate? Good grief. Finally, Mitt is showing some fight and Daniels wants to shut him down. Who are these idiots and where do they come from?

Mirimichi on April 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Who are these idiots and where do they come from?

The Republican party, naturally.

Here come the accusations of being an Obama shill in 3,2,1…

avgjo on April 20, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Romney is a veteran of political campaigns and he knows exactly how negative he needs to be because that is how you win elections. He also knows how to govern, so I’m not worried about what it’ll be like when he is President.

OxyCon on April 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

He’s only won one election, and lost others even in strong GOP years. Romney isn’t some strategic genius, he just outspends people by huge margins. Which won’t work against Obama, obviously.

Buckshot Bill on April 20, 2012 at 3:20 PM

This is the same Daniels who just cut an advert backing that POS RINO Lugar in the primary. And now he attacks Romney for being mean to Obama? Good grief

DaMav on April 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I respect Gov Daniels’ record, but he is way off base on this one

Redford on April 20, 2012 at 3:43 PM

a constructive program to make life better

With limited government credibility like this, it’s really surprising that Mitch Daniels never appealed to anyone but Republican Beltway navel gazers.

/

fitzfong on April 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Has Mitch cleared his opinion with his wife?

galtani on April 20, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Romney is a wimp too . . .he’s just faking trying to be tough . . . believe me, he ain’t.

Palin or Perry/West 2012
No More Wimps in the White House Please!

Pragmatic on April 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Pragmatic – I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

kjl291 on April 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Mirimichi on April 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Agree Standard GOP milk toast talking – we’re above all that while we’re taking the high road to Loserville

katiejane on April 20, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Considering that Daniels was too cowardly to get in the race I really couldn’t care less what he thinks. Oh, I’m sorry. Was that too negative? No such thing when dealing with the ObaMao catastrophe.

cicerone on April 20, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Mitch, you and John Mclame can just go away forever and i’d be fine with that…i’m tired of coward republicans who can’t say the truth about Obama, his policies and his intentions behind them

sadsushi on April 20, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Daniels: Romney’s campaign is too negative

We can always depend on Mitch Daniels to “Go along & Get along” with the Democrats without raising any objections whatsoever.

RJL on April 20, 2012 at 10:11 PM

The governor, who’s often cited as a potential Republican running mate for Romney, reportedly told the newspaper that “political victories that follow ‘slash-and-burn’ campaigns seldom lead to great accomplishments,”…

That’s just tough, because the left has divided the country to the point where only slash and burn victories are possible, unless the right just rolls over and loses for the sake of harmony.

And when that happens it doesn’t lead to great accomplishments anyway. We just did that. McCain ran dead, Obama was able to win in a walk as a great uniter, and what followed was not the uniting of the country and great national accomplishments but a drive to the left further dividing the country, and racializing every conflict.

We know from the Bush II presidency, and especially the “gracious” way Al Gore took his defeat, that for the left political warfare of the utmost bitterness will follow a Republican win even if the winner is a bit of a squish who would like to be remembered as a “compassionate” conservative and leave No Child Left Behind and shamnesty as accomplishments.

The option for the right to campaign soft and by doing so unite the country (including the mass media??) and set up major right wing / conservative accomplishments does not exist.

The only way for conservatives to do any good at all is to campaign hard, not pretty, win, and then govern resolutely in the teeth of a perpetual media storm of partisan hate.

David Blue on April 21, 2012 at 2:03 AM

Comment pages: 1 2