Daniels: Fear For Daughters Nixed Presidential Run

Daniels Says Security Would Have Disrupted Their Young Lives

Gov. Mitch Daniels said Tuesday the fear of how a campaign would affect his adult daughters was the main factor in his decision not to run for president.

The governor spoke to reporters Tuesday for the first time since his middle-of-the-night announcement over the weekend, 6News' Norman Cox reported.

Many had speculated that he feared scrutiny of his divorce from his wife, Cheri, and their remarriage in the 1990s.

But Daniels said Tuesday that his concern about security and their four daughters -- Meagan, Melissa, Meredith and Maggie -- was the biggest factor.

"Don't forget just the total loss of privacy," Daniels said. "I've got three daughters just early in their married lives. Think about the disruption of that that it would have meant."

Daniels said it was never his ambition to be president. He said he was motivated by a concern for the nation's ballooning deficit and the threat it means to the future.

"I've tried to be absolutely level with you folks at every stage. Go back and read everything I've said. I stand by every word of it," he said. "This is not something I would have thought about doing if I were not really alarmed about the condition of the country. If the country were in what I consider stable, normal shape, the future looked good, I wouldn't have thought about it for a second."

Daniels said his decision is actually of little importance, while what American voters decide in 2012 means everything.

The governor said he'll continue promoting fiscal conservatism, but doesn't know if he'll endorse any candidate for the 2012 race.

"It's too soon to say. I think there are some good signs out there. I'm very hopeful," he said.

Daniels said he hasn't given a thought to what he'll do after he leaves the governor's office or about the possibility of a cabinet job if a Republican wins the presidency. He called speculation about him as a possible vice presidential candidate "far-fetched."