INDIANAPOLIS-- In a speech extolling the importance of a leader selecting a great team to surround him -- and hitting President Obama for his own appointments -- Mitt Romney gave a clue about the type of person he might want to have on own team, if he were to become president.
"You can't do it all yourself," Romney yesterday told an audience here of a few hundred Indiana Republicans, before delving into the hypothetical. "Let's say you, somehow, were elected president of the United States, and the economy was in terrible shape. Who would you surround yourself with? Who would you put in your cabinet? Well, [Obama] chose politicians and academics. No business people. Can you imagine such a thing?"
So who might be on a President Romney's team? While shaking hands with voters after the speech, Romney was asked about another former CEO, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.
"He's obviously been at that level already. So it's, I mean, the guy should be the chief operating officer of the government, which is, you know, chief of staff, or virtually anywhere," Romney said, before quickly adding: "I haven't even thought about that sort of thing."
Romney then continued in his praise of the man who formerly served as a senior adviser to Ronald Reagan and as the director of the Office of Management and Budget in George W. Bush's cabinet. "Mitch is such an extraordinarily capable guy. Whoever our nominee is, of we elect a Republican president, they or I will be coming to his door."
Daniels himself had been heavily recruited by some in the party to run for president himself, before taking his name out of the running in May. In recent interviews, he cited his family's opposition to a run, and the lack of privacy one would entail, as his reasons for abstaining.
Earlier in his speech, Romney cited Daniels' success over two terms in Indiana as a model for other Republicans -- himself included.
"I learned from watching your governor. You've got, you've got an extraordinary governor, I'll tell you that," Romney said to loud applause.
Daniels was out of state during Romney's speech, promoting his book and did not attend the event.