Mitch Daniels Says His Family’s ‘Women’s Caucus’ Vetoed Presidential Run

By Terence P. Jeffrey | May 23, 2011 | 2:44 PM EDT

Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) and wife Cheri Daniels at a Republican Party on the stage at a fundraiser in Indianapolis, Ind., earlier this month. (AP photo/Darron Cummings)

( - Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told the Indianapolis Star in a statement delivered to the paper late Saturday, and published in Sunday’s editions, that he would not run for president because his family’s “women’s caucus” had vetoed such a campaign.

"The answer is that I will not be a candidate,” Daniels told the Star. “What could have been a complicated decision was in the end very simple: on matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women's caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.”

Later, in an email reportedly sent out shortly after midnight on Sunday morning, Daniels informed top supporters of his decision, saying he would understand if they considered it a “non-courageous or unpatriotic one.”

The email was forwarded to the supporters via Eric Holcomb, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party.

"I hope this reaches you before the public news does. If so, please respect my confidence for the short time until I can make it known to all,” Daniels told the supporters.

“The counsel and encouragement I received from important citizens like you caused me to think very deeply about becoming a national candidate,” said the email. “In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one, but that, the interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry.

“If you feel that this was a non-courageous or unpatriotic decision, I understand and will not attempt to persuade you otherwise,” Daniels said. “I only hope that you will accept my sincerity in the judgment I reached.”

In his statement to the Star, Daniels said that he is “deeply concerned” about the future of the country and believes the nation faces fundamental questions.

"I am deeply concerned, for the first time in my life, about the future of our Republic,” said Daniels. “In the next few years Americans will decide two basic sets of questions: Who's in charge here? Should the public sector protect and promote the private sector or dominate and direct it? Does the government work for the people or vice versa?

"And, are we Americans still the kind of people who can successfully govern ourselves, discipline ourselves financially, put the future and our children's interests ahead of the present and our own?” Daniels asked.

Recent news stories had focused on Daniels’ family history.

In 1993, as the Indianapolis Star reported it, Daniels wife, Cheri, filed for divorce after 15 years of marriage. The couple at that time had four daughters who ranged in age from 8 to 14. Mrs. Daniels married another man, who lived in California. Four years later, after that marriage had ended, she remarried Daniels.

The Star reported on Sunday that Daniels had also provided the paper with a short statement about his divorce and remarriage.

"It is important to correct some factually incorrect accounts about the time when our family was divided," said this statement. "When Cheri and I parted, the court agreed with my view that our daughters’ best interests would be served by their staying in Indiana. Cheri and I were granted joint custody. Within a short time, she purchased a residence just a few minutes from our house. Until we remarried, we shared custody fully, the girls dividing their time between the two homes.

"The notion that Cheri ever did or would 'abandon' her girls or parental duty is the reverse of the truth and absurd to anyone who knows her, as I do, to be the best mother any daughter ever had," said the statement.

In a June 14, 2010 article in the Weekly Standard, Daniels told writer Andrew Ferguson that whoever the next president was “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while.”

In the same article, Daniels said his wife was “anti-political” and that he never asked her to do anything in politics that she did not want to do.

“Right from the start she told me, ‘I don’t do the whole politician’s spouse thing,’” Daniels told Ferguson. “She’s not apolitical. She’s not unpolitical. She’s antipolitical. I told her I would never ask her to do anything she didn’t want to do. And I haven’t. And she hasn’t.”