Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will provide this year’s Republican rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
In a joint statement announcing the selection, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) touted Daniels’s record in Indiana. Boehner called the two-term governor “a fierce advocate for smaller, less costly, and more accountable government, and has the record to prove it.”
McConnell said, “He is the right choice to explain the challenges we face and to outline a hopeful, common-sense vision for moving America forward by growing the economy, not the national debt.”
Daniels briefly mulled a presidential run last year, but he ultimately decided against it. Fiscal hawks were rooting for his candidacy, and his selection as the chief GOP spokesman Tuesday night underscores the message of deficit reduction that party leaders espoused all last year.
Newly minted in the House majority last year, Republicans selected another fiscal wonk, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.), to deliver their rebuttal. In his brief remarks following Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, Ryan touted the House Republican budget, saying, “We owe you a better choice and a different vision.” Daniels is likely to follow suit.
“An eloquent spokesman for limited government, Gov. Daniels knows that President Obama’s three-year experiment in big government has made our economy worse and our future more uncertain, and he knows that Americans want a government that’s simpler, streamlined and secure,” McConnell said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.