WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Mitch Daniels, who is considering a run for the White House in 2012, said on Tuesday he thinks he can beat U.S. President Barack Obama but that is not a factor in his deliberations.
“I think the chances would actually be quite good,” Daniels told reporters in Indiana. “That’s really not a factor, I don’t want to overstate this.”
The Indiana governor, seen as a Republican heavyweight, has promised to make a decision soon about making a presidential run and said the support he is picking up is “quite awesome.”
“The campaign might break down because of the candidate but it would not break down because of a lack of very credible and highly respected people from both public and private life,” Daniels said.
Daniels, who also served as budget director under former President George W. Bush, is one of several Republicans still pondering whether to run for the Republican nomination to challenge Obama, who already has announced he is seeking re-election in 2012.
Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich plans to enter the race on Wednesday, joining a small field that includes former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Will Dunham