On Wednesday morning, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels issued a stirring endorsement of Mitt Romney, saying, “Mitt Romney has proven that he understands what is at stake and is prepared to summon Americans to the changes that will restore the American Dream and our national greatness. I’ll do whatever I’m asked to help him.” Romney, for his part, was more than pleased, saying, “Daniels shares my background in business, and he has used the principles of the private sector in government.”
Later in the day Wednesday, talking to the Indianapolis Star‘s Matthew Tully, Daniels sounded a tad bit less enthusiastic about his party’s presumptive presidential nominee:
“You have to campaign to govern, not just to win,” he said. “. . . Spend the precious time and dollars explaining what’s at stake and a constructive program to make life better. And as I say, look at everything through the lens of folks who have yet to achieve.”
After a pause, Daniels added with disappointment: “Romney doesn’t talk that way.”
Before you start to think Daniels wants Romney to embrace a policy agenda that would actually help non-wealthy people, let’s be clear: Daniels went on to say that “You don’t change one thing about the policies you advocate or your principles.” Daniels is not saying that Romney should stop wanting to roll back workers’ rights or change his mind about his embrace of the Republican budget that would hurt low-income people and seniors and students. He’s just saying that Romney should do a better job sounding like he cares about what happens to non-millionaires.
But Romney’s not that good an actor, so Daniels better get used to being disappointed.