Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels thinks he could beat President Barack Obama in 2012. He just hasn't decided whether he'll try.
The Republican governor said Tuesday he was confident about his chances of beating Obama, but that's not factoring into his deliberations on a White House run.
"I think the chances would actually be quite good," Daniels said, speaking to reporters after giving public service awards to state employees. "The quality and the number of people who have said they'd like to be associated is really quite awesome to me."
Daniels' comments came a week after he said he wasn't ready to debate Obama on foreign policy. They also appeared to break with a public image he's crafted of a reluctant and self-deprecating politician.
He quickly returned to form Tuesday, saying any campaign he might launch could fall short _ but not because of a lack of high-quality support.
"The campaign might break down because of the candidate, but it would not break down because of a lack of very credible and highly respected people from both public and private life," Daniels said.
Daniels has said he'll decide soon whether to seek the GOP nomination.
National Republican leaders have urged Daniels to enter the fray over the last year or so _ largely, they say, to stand as a more serious alternative to former Alaska Gov. and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and business mogul Donald Trump.
The nation's highest elected Republican, House Speaker John Boehner, said Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show that he would like to see Daniels bring the reforms he made in Indiana to Washington, D.C.