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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels Is Tough On Budgets

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels speaks in Washington on Feb. 11.
Jose Luis Magana
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels speaks in Washington on Feb. 11.

In 2005 on his first day in office, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed an order ending collective bargaining with public employee unions. He said it freed him to turn over some state jobs to private contractors.

Daniels was able to put his state's finances in order just as other states headed for trouble. Now, that's a big part of his reputation, and some Republicans are promoting him as a possible presidential candidate.

Yet as he looks back on that budget-cutting moment with NPR's Steve Inskeep, Daniels says that he also added government jobs in the child welfare system.

Mitch Daniels is a former budget director to President Bush. He won re-election as governor at the same time Indiana was carried by President Obama. Currently, he's pushing contentious conservative plans. Just last week, Democrats walked out of the Indiana state Legislature protesting a range of Daniels' plans, including government vouchers for private schools.

Read the full transcript of Steve Inskeep's interview with Gov. Mitch Daniels below.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.