Mitt Romney Joins Democrats in Urging Mitch Daniels to Enter Indiana U.S. Senate Race 

Michael Hickey/Getty Images; Inset: Alex Wong/Getty Images; Breitbart News Edit
Michael Hickey/Getty Images; Inset: Alex Wong/Getty Images; Breitbart News Edit

Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), who Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said would make a “terrific candidate” for U.S. Senate, is now receiving praise from Democrats like Sen. John Hickenlooper (CO) as he decides whether to enter the U.S. Senate race in Indiana.

Daniels is considering joining the race to replace outgoing Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), who is running for Indiana governor in 2024.

In anticipation of the decision, Daniels traveled to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to meet with senators to discuss the “life of a senator,” he told reporters.

Sen. Hickenlooper, a former governor, praised Daniels’ “social skills” and said Daniels’ executive experience would transfer well into the Senate.

“Maybe our success here the last couple of years is going to attract more governors. The experience of being a governor is directly applicable,” Hickenlooper said in an interview. “I think [Daniels] is someone who is driven by a desire — almost a need — to serve.” He went on:

My guess is that he’ll look at it and think, ‘yeah, I was so cynical and hated it.’ He has great social skills. He’s a talented manager, obviously a very successful governor, but he also is a visionary and is capable of bringing people together and building these constituencies around specific issues, which is what this building is all about.

Hickenlooper’s praise of Daniels is similar to Romney’s perspective, who previously said Daniels would make a “terrific candidate.”

However, Daniels is reluctant to join the legislative branch due to his previous experience in the private sector and the executive branch. The 73-year-old Daniels told reporters:

I’ve always had action jobs, so I’ve always had great admiration and respect for people who follow the legislative path, but it’s not something I’ve done or, frankly, seen myself doing. I’m just testing all that now because I’ve been asked to. People I admire have asked me to think about it, so I’m thinking.

If he decides to enter the race, Daniels will face a Republican primary battle against Rep. Jim Banks, who recently launched his candidacy.

The fact that Romney and Hickenlooper both praised Daniels is a testament to who the establishment wants to be Indiana’s next senator.

As Breitbart News’s Sean Moran explained:

In a nutshell, the primary represents the continuing battle between the more traditional, Bush-era Republicans and the more pro-Trump, populist-leaning candidates such as Banks. Daniels served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under former President George W. Bush, and was cited as a potential presidential candidate in 2012 and 2016.

The pro-conservative Club for Growth PAC recently launched an attack ad against Daniels that characterized the former Indiana governor as an “old guard Republican.”

According to Indiana Sen. Todd Young (R), who met with Daniels on Capitol Hill, Daniels “seemed uncertain” about entering the race.

“He’s genuinely and sincerely trying to figure out whether he wants to spend a year and a half auditioning for the job and six years in the job. He’s asking a lot of questions about the job itself,” Young said.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.


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