Updated: Wednesday, 08 Jul 2009, 11:34 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 08 Jul 2009, 11:33 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The national chairman of the Republican Party says if the GOP wants to restore its national standing, it should learn from Indiana. Michael Steele appeared at a Republican dinner in Indianapolis Wednesday night. As he praised Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, he avoided a popular political question.
Steele said Hoosier Republicans have "much to be proud of." But his praise for Governor Daniels is not an endorsement for any future campaign.
Daniels wasn't at the dinner. Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman said he's on vacation and then got some big laughs when she made a reference to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's controversial vacation. Watch the video in the left margin of the story.
"Mitch has been one of those governors that has been steady to the cause. He's stayed principled, stayed disciplined. And, he's stayed focused on what's important to the people here," said Steele.
And, Steele said, Daniels is probably getting more attention than he expected.
"But God bless you governor. You're doing a great job and you deserve what comes your way," Steele said.
A new web site called
Americans for Mitch is another example of the attention coming to Daniels --
adding to the speculation that he might run for president in 2012
-- even though he's said repeatedly he's run his last campaign.
And, he challenged the Republicans in Indiana to "stop talking bad about each other" and to realize they lost in the last election and it's time to move forward without watering down their principles.
"You don't try to make it relevant to someone else's issues. You stand on those principles and you speak truth to power, you lead. And it's time this party started leading again," said Steele.
The chairman of Indiana's state Democratic Party told 24-Hour
News 8 reporter Jim Shella Wednesday that the talk about Daniels
"is not a grassroots movement." (
read more )
But, Steele also said other Republican governors could also be examples for other politicians to follow and he expects other names to "bubble up" between now and the next campaign.