Gov. Mitch Daniels Cautious About Criticizing Newt Gingrich

May 18, 2011 6:13pm

ABC News’ Katie Slaman reports:

 

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels urged caution today on those jumping to criticize New Gingrich and his bumpy campaign start. 

“I wouldn’t overreact to any one event. It’s going to be a long, long time. Every candidate will make mistakes and have their good days too,” he told ABC News affiliate WRTV after an event in Churubusco, Indiana.  “You just have to recognize that if you enter such an environment you’ll make mistakes and you’ll say things that when you think about them you wish you had said differently.  I think we have to be a little bit forgiving.”

Gingrich faced a firestorm of criticism after he attacked Representative Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan calling it “right-wing social engineering” on NBC on Sunday.  The presidential hopeful has since backtracked from his comments and even called Ryan Tuesday to apologizet.   

Governor Daniels has yet to announce whether he’ll make a run for the White House in 2012, although he said today that he’s closer to a decision.  He also mentioned that if he were to take the plunge, he’d take some cues from his 2004 campaign for governor, including staying in people’s houses when he was on the trail.

When asked about whether there was a void within the GOP field that only he can fill, Daniels said, “I think there’s a lot of good people and it’s awfully early.  We haven’t heard really what some of them think about the big questions, so no, nobody is indispensible, least of all me.”

Daniels told reporters he has not been contacting people in Iowa and New Hampshire about a possible campaign, but people from the two states have been contacting him.  He said he’s been taking down names and will reach out if he decides to run.

“I would hope if we did this, we would demonstrate an ability tot bring together all kinds of different people,” said Daniels.

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