Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said this week that those on the left are the "meanest people in politics."

Daniels, who is considered a rising Republican star, was speaking at a forum titled "Making Conservatism Credible Again," the Associated Press reports.

Daniels said the GOP must stress "empathy," a term that the GOP had used to criticized President Obama's criteria for a Supreme Court justice.

"Empathy is going to get a bad name for a little while because it's been transported into the world of the rule of law," he said, according to the AP. "It's what distinguishes us from other species."

Daniels also said Republicans need to be "graceful" in their opposition to Democrats.

"We need to accept the role of the loyal opposition much more gracefully than our opponents did," he said. "If you haven't noticed, the meanest people in politics are on the American left. We must be a friendly movement."