Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said Tuesday that he doesn't want to run for president.
"The simple fact is I don't plan to do; I don't expect to do it; I really don't want to do it," he said at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor. "I'm just very concerned about the condition and direction of the country and would like to have some input into a constructive Republican alternative."
Daniels, who was in Washington for the National Governors Association winter meeting, said he preferred focusing on his second-term agenda.
"I have an assignment that I sought. We're getting a lot of things done," he told reporters. "There's a reasonable probability of getting those things done and that's a lot more appealing than taking the longest of long shots."
Daniels also cited "the savagery of our politics" as one of the "hundred reasons" why he would not run.
While detailing the harsh realities of waging a national campaign, the former Bush administration official admitted he's encouraged several potential candidates to enter the 2012 presidential race.
“I’ve talked to three different people over the last year who might sort of see things in the sort of way I do,” he said, without naming those individuals.
He did praise Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for his work on Social Security reform. "I happen to think he’s got it about right," he said. "He has really thought deeply about this.” Ryan has called for reforming the entitlement program for workers under age 55.
As he directed attention elsewhere, Daniels was willing to tout his record in Indiana as a potential model for the GOP.
"What we have been about is a very vigorous active program, attempting to modernize a state that I thought was backwards economically and really was not preparing itself at all for the world [economy]," he said. "We have campaigned and governed in the most positive, affirmative way we can. We try to be as unifying as we can be."
He cited health insurance and property tax reform, and telecommunications deregulation as places for common ground between Democrats and Republicans.
"I think a Republicanism that looks like that might have a chance" in 2012, Daniels said.