Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Potential VP Pick, Endorses Mitt Romney
By Sara Dover | April 19, 2012 2:41 AM EST
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced he was supporting Mitt Romney for president Wednesday, another unsurprising but important endorsement for the likely Republican nominee.
Daniels, a rumored name on the Republican vice presidential shortlist, joked on Fox News it must "be a slow news day if this made the air."
"For what it's worth, I did send a congratulatory note to Governor Romney the other day. I offered to do anything I could to help him," Daniels said.
The Indiana governor's endorsement follows a series of other high profile stamps of approval in recent weeks, including House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Although two other Republican candidates are still in the race -- Rep. Ron Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich -- the endorsements show the Republican establishment is calling the primary over.
"He's already won our nomination, he earned it." Daniels said. "He's proven himself the best nominee we could put forward. I'm just happy to sign on and help him."
Romney is far in the lead in the delegate race, although he still has some way to go to reach the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination. According to totals calculated by the Associated Press, Romney has amassed 684 delegates. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum quit the race two weeks ago with 262 delegates, while Gingrich has 136 and Paul has 60.
"Proud to have Gov. Daniels' support today," Romney tweeted shortly after the announcement. "Indiana has been served well by his leadership based on fiscal discipline & smaller government."
Daniels flirted with a presidential run himself, but announced he wouldn't pursue it due to the "wishes of my family," the Associated Press reported last year.
Still, Daniels is speculated to be a potential pick for vice president. He provided the typically vague "no but yes" response when asked by the TC Palm, a Florida local newspaper, if he'd take the position.
"I don't want to do it," Daniels said. "I have no intention to do it, but I don't think a citizen of this government should say 'no' if asked to serve.'"
Although Boehner's announcement Tuesday may have stolen the thunder of endorsements this week, Daniels remains and influential voice in his party. He gave the Republican Party's response to President Obama's State of the Union speech in January. He also served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.
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