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Mitch Daniels cancels the truce

Washington Post op-ed columnist Michael Gerson talks to Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) about his much-discussed "social truce" concept -- something I thought described what conservatives were doing right now, but something that convinced the likes of Mike Huckabee that Daniels was tossing social conservatives into a landfill. Daniels clarifies:

"I would reinstate the Mexico City policy," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told me Wednesday, removing an uncertainty of his own creation. Promoting abortion with international family planning funds is one of "a thousand things we shouldn't be spending money on."

...Daniels's clarification on Mexico City shows his realism. But his continued insistence on the idea of a truce shows his stubbornness -- a defining characteristic. "If there were a WMD attack, death would come to straights and gays, pro-life and pro-choice," he told me. "If the country goes broke, it would ruin the American dream for everyone. We are in this together. Whatever our honest disagreements on other questions, might we set them aside long enough to do some very difficult things without which we will be a different, lesser country?"

In other words, his clever concept was alienating people whom he needed to take him seriously.

By David Weigel  |  June 18, 2010; 10:17 AM ET
Categories:  2012 Election  
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