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Mitch Daniels on possible new contender in GOP presidential race: ‘It ain’t me’

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For those Republicans dissatisfied with the current presidential field and looking for a new candidate to jump into the race, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) has an answer:

“It ain’t me.”

Speaking with reporters Saturday on the sidelines of the National Governors Association’s winter meeting in Washington, Daniels said he has received some calls from members of his party urging him to enter the race. But he declined to name names.

And Daniels, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, said those calls haven’t caused him to reconsider his decision not to jump into the presidential fray.

“I wasn’t running, I’m not running, and I don’t plan to run,” said Daniels, who delivered the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address last month. “I’d love to have something new to say to y’all, but I just don’t. I’ve felt there are other ways a person can contribute, and I’m trying to do that in other ways. But I’m not a candidate, and I’m not planning to be.”

Some Republicans have expressed concern that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney may not fully energize the party in November. Others worry that former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.), Romney’s top rival for the GOP nomination, may alienate independents with his conservative positions on social issues.

Among Republican governors attending Saturday’s meeting at the J.W. Marriott hotel, opinions were mixed.

“I am pushing for a floor fight,” Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) told reporters, according to multiple reports.

“I just believe we ought to go to a convention and pick a fresh face,” LePage said. “They’ve beat themselves up so badly that I’d think it’d be nice to have a fresh face.”

Other Republican governors at Saturday’s meeting dismissed the idea that a new candidate should enter the race.

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