During a Republican presidential primary debate back in August, all of the candidates on stage raised their hand to indicate that they would reject a budget deal that included 10 dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in new government revenue. According to Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN) — who was courted to run for the GOP presidential nomination — if he had been on that stage, he would have been the only one to give a 10 to 1 budget deal a longer look:
DANIELS: I thought it was the single best question anybody’s asked so far. Perfectly fair question. I would not have raised my hand. Now, I would have instantly been called on to explain that. You know, there’s no penalty for piling on in these things. So I’m sure that would have happened, but here’s what I would have said. I wish somebody would have said this.
I would have said, not that I’ll take the deal but tell me more. [...] If somebody’s got an approach that generates greater revenues, there’s a reasonable chance that it encourages private-sector growth — and I think that’s possible — I think it’s a mistake to close the door.
Daniels has — relative to today’s GOP — tended towards some level of tax sanity, telling Newsweek, “at some stage there could well be a tax increase. They say we can’t have grown-up conversations anymore. I think we can.”
But he hasn’t completely isolated himself from some of the extreme views of his party’s presidential contenders. For instance, in his newly-released book, he largely agrees with Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (though he has since tried to walk that back, telling National Public Radio that he won’t use the term again).