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Daniels Says Democratic ‘Extremism’ Is ‘Pro-Poverty Policy’

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Indiana Republican Governor Mitch Daniels said Democratic “extremism” promotes a “pro-poverty policy” by hindering U.S. energy development, blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and backing costly environmental regulations.

Daniels, in his party’s response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, said Republicans back a “pro-jobs, pro-growth” economic policy.

“We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have-nots; we must always be a nation of haves and soon-to-haves,” Daniels said.

“It’s not fair and it’s not true for the president to attack Republicans in Congress as obstacles” to economic recovery, Daniels said. In his speech, Obama promised to “fight obstruction with action” in dealing with Congress.

Daniels, 62, was encouraged by some Republicans to oppose Obama before he announced, last May, that he wouldn’t run for president. Daniels, a former budget director under President George W. Bush, was elected in 2008 to a second term as Indiana governor.

Describing Republicans as the “loyal opposition,” Daniels said the party supports a “dramatically simpler tax system of fewer loopholes and lower rates.”

Dividing Americans

“The president did not cause the economic and fiscal crises that continue in America tonight, but he was elected on a promise to fix them, and he cannot claim that the last three years have made things anything but worse,” Daniels said. “No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others.”

Daniels criticized Obama for “constant disparagement of people in business” and said “the president’s grand experiment in trickle-down government has held back rather than sped economic recovery.”

Citing growing federal debt, Daniels said, “Time is running out if we are to avoid the fate of Europe.”

Republicans want to “fashion a new and affordable safety net” for Social Security and Medicare in the future while keeping the programs “unchanged and untouched for those who currently or will soon receive benefits,” Daniels said.

“Decades ago, for instance, we could afford to send millionaires pension checks and pay medical bills for even the wealthiest among us,” Daniels said. “Now, we can’t, so the dollars we have should be devoted to those who need them most.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Drummond in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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