Day After Endorsing Romney, Mitch Daniels Criticizes Candidate For Focusing Message On Wealthy

“[O]nly a few hours” after endorsing Mitt Romney, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) criticized the presumed GOP nominee’s campaign for being overly negative and appealing too much to the wealthy. Daniels — who was considered a potential presidential candidate himself — expressed “disappointment” with Romney, who used his enormous cash advantage to decimate his GOP opponents during the primary with negative ads, for employing a “slash-and-burn” strategy.

In an interview with Indiananapolis Star columnist Matthew Tully, Daniels said candidates should focus on a “constructive program to make life better,” instead of attacking opponents — “Romney doesn’t talk that way,” he added.

But perhaps more interestingly and more overlooked, Daniels also chided Romney for appealing more to wealthy donors than struggling people. Tully writes:

“You don’t change one thing about the policies you advocate or your principles,” he said, noting instead that candidates should simply make clear how their policies would lift up those who are struggling. For instance, he said, at fundraisers Romney’s message shouldn’t be about how his policies affect the well-heeled people listening in the audience, but rather those who can’t afford a ticket to get in.

Daniels’s endorsement was pretty tepid to begin with. In an appearance on Fox News Wednesday, he said, “It must be a slow news day if this is making the air, Brian, but for what it’s worth, I did send a congratulatory note to Governor Romney the other day.”