Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address Jan. 24, congressional GOP leaders announced Thursday.
Daniels, the two-term Hoosier State governor and former Office of Management and Budget director, is one of the GOP’s leading voices on debt and fiscal responsibility. He announced last May that he would not pursue a White House bid, a move that was met with disappointment by many in GOP circles.
In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised Daniels as “a fierce advocate for smaller, less costly and more accountable government” and said that he “has the record to prove it.”
“For making tough choices and keeping his promises, Mitch Daniels is the right choice at the right time to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s address,” Boehner added.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called Daniels “an eloquent spokesman for limited government” and said that he “knows that President Obama’s three-year experiment in big government has made our economy worse and our future more uncertain, and he knows that Americans want a government that’s simpler, streamlined and secure.”
“He is a forceful advocate of pro-growth policies like fundamental tax reform, regulatory reform and energy security,” McConnell said. “And he is the right choice to explain the challenges we face and to outline a hopeful, common-sense vision for moving America forward by growing the economy, not the national debt.”
Obama’s latest State of the Union address comes as the White House is ramping up its effort to cast the 112th Congress – where Republicans control the House and Democrats hold the Senate — as a “do-nothing” institution ahead of the 2012 election.
Last year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) delivered the GOP response to Obama.