From Monday night’s Fox News All-Stars.
On Mitch Daniels deciding not to run for president in 2012:
I admire him for the decision he made. He put family over his own ambition, which is pretty rare in American politics. …
I think what it does leave is a field of essentially two major candidates, Pawlenty and Romney, with Huntsman as a possible outsider. … Everybody has the sort of gauzy vision of a guy on a white horse at a distance, but let’s see how he is close up. I think that’s where the race is — where one of the lesser candidates, I think, could do a Huckabee — a Huckabee as in ’08 — and come out of the pack.
On whether the Republican field is set:
I think it is. The ones who might come in would be a Christie or, if he’s forced, a Ryan. Although Ryan is resisting with all his might. …
Daniels was the guy who really was fluent in the issues of the budget, of big government, and the whole idea of reorganizing the structure of the state.
Ryan is the one man who can do that. It’s his plan. I understand why he won’t [run], why he’s reluctant. He’s where he wants to be: He’s at the center of national debate, he’s got all the attention, he doesn’t have to eat rubber chicken for the next six months, he can actually stay home.
But this is his moment. Even though he’s a young man, this is the moment where I think he could do it. And he would be the one man who could make the argument — which will be the central argument in the campaign next year — over the size and the scope of government. It’s his time. I wouldn’t just ask him or cajole him. I’d get a posse up.
On the disconnect between White House action in Libya and inaction in Syria:
There was a shocking line in that speech [by President Obama on the Arab Spring last week] in which the president said that Assad has a choice to lead a democratic transition or to get out of the way. Assad leading a democratic transition? This a man who’s already made war on his people, is using artillery in suburban neighborhoods, is arresting and executing wantonly — and the administration is still holding out hope that this is a guy who will lead a democratic transition?
We are at a point in Syria where he is – Assad is — at least as illegitimate as Qaddafi. And even if you aren’t going to send in a drone, kinetic or otherwise [to attack Syria], we can at least say so and declare ourselves on the side unequivocally of those who want to bring him down. And we haven’t done that.