Tea Party's Armey on 2012: Daniels would be 'perfect pick for us'

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) would be the "perfect pick" for the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, said Tea Party figurehead and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas). 

Armey, in a video posted Friday to the website of the conservative magazine Newsmax, effused praise for Daniels and expressed a preference for one of the other former governors expected to join the race as a possible alternative.

"I think Mitch Daniels would be the perfect pick for us; he's exactly the man with the proven record that we're looking for," Armey said. "He has no need for sensation, but he knows how to get focused on the work and get it done."

If not Daniels, Armey said, one of the other governors should get the nod. 

Armey expressed disappointment that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) passed on a run this week. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) have each formed exploratory committees, while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) each are mulling a campaign.

"I do think we have to look to the governors," he said. "But once again, the experience of the governors that have really grappled with budgets and dealt with them — right now I think is what we're looking for."

Armey could be an influential voice during the campaign for the Tea Party; his organization, FreedomWorks, has served as one of the largest organizational resources for a number of Tea Party groups.

The former GOP leader did say he didn't expect Palin to ultimately pursue a presidential campaign this cycle, and said that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who's flirting with running, could stand to "mature a little bit" before seeking higher office.

Armey's words, to a degree, also represent a snub to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), with whom Armey served during the 1990s. Gingrich has signaled he'll make a decision next week on whether to pursue the 2012 presidential nomination.

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