Governor Daniels Scolds Democrats For Walkout

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

March 3, 2011 Updated Mar 4, 2011 at 5:39 PM EDT

INDIANA (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Indiana's governor said Thursday it's time for democratic lawmakers to listen to their collective conscience and return from a walkout that has crippled business in the legislature.

Mitch Daniels did not mince words during a trip to Kosciusko County.

Daniels said he wouldn’t hold any grudges if the democrats come back to work, but on this day, he talked like they are public enemy number one.

Governor Mitch Daniels/(R) Indiana: " They've embarrassed themselves and disgraced themselves. They've cost the taxpayers of Indiana a lot of money, which is what they're best at."

Daniels ventured to the campus of Grace College in Winona Lake for a meeting of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

But the questions he kept facing had to do with the House Democrats' decision to flee to Urbana Illinois, preventing a quorum in the House, so about a dozen labor and education reform bills they don't like can't be voted on.

Daniels said republicans in the majority respect their counterparts right to be heard.

Daniels: " What they don't have a right to do is trash the entire process and take taxpayer money and run off to Illinois and hide and pout, and expect us to just fold up. We won't do that."

Daniels said a censure of the AWOL democrats is in order, as well as fines that have been threatened by House Speaker Brian Bosma.

Political analysts are beginning to question whether the walkout might shoot down a series of ambitious reforms supported by Daniels, and if so, deliver a death-dealing blow to a "Daniels for President" campaign.

Daniels: " My attention is completely on the work we're trying to get done in Indiana, and that's going to have all my attention as long as it takes, and it may take a long time."

When asked about Newt Gingrich possibly joining the Presidential race, Daniels said he probably would add a lot to the republican field.

He says Gingrich is a smart guy, well known on the national scene, and that more candidates probably is a good thing for the GOP.

Daniels, however, is still not saying if he's going to get in the race.

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