(Ray Taylor/Wikipedia)

(Ray Taylor/Wikipedia)

Mitch Daniels ’71 may have disappointed his supporters last May when he decided not to pursue a presidential campaign, but on Tuesday night, the Indiana governor made his mark on the 2012 election season, delivering the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, which was viewed by many as a kickoff to Obama’s reelection bid.

Daniels, director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2003,  critiqued the president’s budgetary record and argued that Obama’s speech included “efforts to divide” Americans on issues like taxation. “We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have-nots,” he said. “We must always be a nation of haves and soon-to-haves.” (Full text here.)

The Daniels speech drew positive reviews from conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, who wrote that while it “lacked the soaring themes that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) sounded last year,” the speech’s tone “should serve as a model for less sober conservatives.” William Kristol of The Weekly Standard has not written specifically about Tuesday’s speech, but he has supported the bid to “draft Daniels” as a candidate for the remaining Republican primaries, calling Daniels the “winner” of Monday’s attack-filled Republican debate in Florida.

Read more: Budget politics: Mitch Daniels ’71 won fans and enemies for cutting Indiana’s budget — is the federal budget next? (From PAW’s April 6, 2011, issue)

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