Daniels cool on 2012 presidential run

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) on Thursday appeared bearish on the possibility that he will enter the field of 2012 GOP presidential candidates.

In an appearance on a conservative podcast, one of the guests asked Daniels if his 83-year-old father in Minnesota would one day have the chance to vote for him.

"Well, if you want to naturalize him and bring him to Indiana," he said, drawing laughter from hosts of the podcast.

"I'm thinking maybe more of a national election of sorts," the guest responded.

"Well, tell him — at 83, he shouldn't be holding his breath anyway, but tell him not to hold his breath," Daniels answered.

The former Office of Management and Budget director's name has been bandied about as a potential dark horse candidate for president. Observers cite his state's balanced budget as one attribute that could help him during a time of high national debt and deep federal budget deficits.

The libertarian Cato Institute recently gave him a grade of "B," a high mark but one that trailed Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) among potential presidential candidates. 

Though he has not closed the door on a bid, Daniels has given less of an indication than other potential candidates that he might run.

In comparison to other contenders that have national political action committees that donate money to candidates, Daniels only has an Indiana-based PAC that assists candidates in the Hoosier State. 

But the governor has reportedly made the rounds among GOP insiders, signaling he is still contemplating a bid.