Mitch Daniels told THE WEEKLY STANDARD's Andy Ferguson that the next president "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until economic issues are resolved.
This morning, at the Heritage Foundation, I asked Daniels if that meant the next president shouldn't push issues like stopping taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare or reinstating the Mexico City Policy banning federal funds to overseas groups that perform abortions. Daniels replied that we face a "genuine national emergency" regarding the budget and that "maybe these things could be set aside for a while. But this doesn't mean anybody abandons their position at all. Everybody just stands down for a little while, while we try to save the republic."
First off, let me be clear - I disagree with the statement made by Gov. Daniels.
But if his point is that proposed new policies should be prioritized, which I believe was his intention, then he is 100% correct.
Our nation is one on the brink of fiscal disaster, and we need a grown-up like Mitch Daniels to help solve the crisis. Unfortunately, a President only has a finite amount of political capital to spend and it's up to that President to determine how to use it.
The next GOP President's priority must first spend that capital on our fiscal crisis. Period.
Does that mean Daniels will be remiss from his duties as a pro-life President? I don't think so.
After all, look at his record.
From Indiana Right to Life:
Fichter said that, prior to Governor Daniels, not a single Indiana governor had the courage or conviction to publicly support the sanctity of life of unborn children.Daniels would be a pro-life President.
During his first term, Governor Daniels has signed into law key legislation placing Indiana on the leading edge of national pro-life efforts.
That included a bill allowing women to see an ultrasound of their unborn child prior to the abortion, a bill to ban human cloning, and a measure establishing an umbilical cord blood bank to advance life-affirming stem cell research using cord blood instead of killing human embryos.
Daniels also ended 25 years of Indiana abortion clinics operating without any significant health and safety regulations by signing into law new licensure and inspection requirements for abortion centers.
Also, under the Daniels administration, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles approved Indiana's Choose Life license plate that provides funding for pro-life pregnancy resource centers statewide.
That hasn't stopped some, like Mike Huckabee, to take advantage of Daniels' statement. It's no surprise to anyone that the candidate most focused on social issues would jump all over it. So it's not news.
That being said, Daniels needs to reevaluate his position. His words were ambiguous enough to earn him a pass on this first bump, but he'll need to be more clear about his record if he moves forward with pursuing the nomination.