By Erik Wasson - 01/19/12 02:44 PM EST
Republicans have tapped Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to deliver the response to President Obama’s State of the Union address next Tuesday.
The choice of Daniels, a conservative fiscal guru, shows that the GOP again intends to make the deficit a major issue in the days before Obama releases his budget. Last year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) delivered the State of the Union response and emphasized the need for fiscal discipline in Washington.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) highlighted Daniels’s track record of balancing the budget and securing a AAA credit rating for Indiana.
“As governor, he has turned deficits into surplus, reformed government from top to bottom, and created a better environment for private-sector job creation,” Boehner said.
“An eloquent spokesman for limited government, Gov. Daniels knows that President Obama’s three-year experiment in big government has made our economy worse and our future more uncertain, and he knows that Americans want a government that’s simpler, streamlined and secure,” McConnell said.
Many centrist Republicans had hoped Daniels would run for president this year, but he announced in 2011 he was declining in order to spend more time with his family.
He has been talked about as a possible vice presidential candidate in recent months.