Gov. Mitch Daniels won't weigh in on touchy topics coming up for governor-elect Mike Pence

Daniels quiet on same-sex marriage, superintendent

INDIANAPOLIS - Outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels is keeping true to his word to not give specific advice to his successor, Mike Pence. 

In the latest installment of his farewell interview with RTV6 Reporter Norman Cox, Daniels declined to make endorsements involving two upcoming issues: same-sex marriage and what to do with the state school superintendent's office.

Daniels has talked freely about his wish that his successors protect his general legacy -- balanced budget, low taxes and education reform -- but he shies away from getting involved in specifics.

With a sizable portion of the Republican education reform agenda now law, much of this year's legislative attention may focus on whether to make the state superintendent an appointed position.

Making the superintendent appointed is one of the few things from Daniels' 2005 report card he didn't get done.

He said it just didn't happen, even though it was in both parties' state platforms.

"I've still got the tattered version over there in my desk,” said Daniels. “In 2005 when we, as you'll recall, it was the busiest year Indiana had probably seen in generations. And we did economic development changes. We tackled the bankruptcy of the state budget, and we did sweeping ethics reform, and on and on. One thing we didn't get done was the good government reform of having an appointed superintendent as four fifths of the states do."

The proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is also up for a legislative vote this year.

Daniels said that's also something for the new leadership to decide, even though he has called in the past for a truce on social issues and despite the fact that many of the Republicans' business allies are advising them to hold up.

"I understand the argument that's being made, and others are also pointing out that the courts may soon, or the Supreme Court maybe, may have something to say about it, and you may want to wait on events," he said. "But a good example of one of those things that I'm just a private citizen now, and it's best left to those who will hold the public trust in another 30 days."

Some of Daniels' reluctance to take sides on controversial issues may be because he's about to become the president of Purdue. 

Although he described his upcoming life change as a return to private life, running a major public university is anything but that, and he probably doesn't want to alienate anybody he's going to need in West Lafayette. 
 

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