Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels attacked President Obama on Sunday, characterizing his first term as a “failed presidency” and saying the president was “AWOL” on debt reduction.
The election will be “a choice between [Obama] and a future of certain decline and indebtedness, and the Republican Party," Daniels said on CNN's State of the Union.
Daniels, a former head of the Office of Management and Budget who was tapped to deliver the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address this year, called the current economic climate "the worse recovery ever from a serious recession."
"History says the deeper the down, the sharper the up," he said. "It should've been a very vigorous" recovery.
Daniels went on to squarely blame Obama, saying the president has not gone far enough on issues like debt reduction. “The president went totally AWOL on this largest of subjects,” Daniels said.
The comments follow President Obama’s budget request, which was delivered to Congress this week and which Republicans criticized for, among other things, not adequately tackling debt reduction.
Daniels also raised other issues Obama may have to address during his 2012 fight for reelection.
"This is a really pathetically weak economy with storm clouds in Europe, storm clouds in oil prices,” he said. “I consider it very unlikely that president Obama will have anything but a big negative in terms of the biggest issues of all."