Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels endorsed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday, saying he would do whatever he's asked to help the former Massachusetts governor defeat President Barack Obama in November.
Daniels' support for Romney comes after he declined for months to publicly support any of the Republican candidates. The governor had said he wanted to stay neutral if Indiana's May primary ended up being contested.
But with Romney's lock on the GOP nomination now secure, Daniels said Romney "deserves the support of every American still committed to government that serves the people rather than rules over them.
"The ruinous debts and anti-enterprise policies of today threaten more than our near-term economy; unaddressed soon, they will end the promise of upward mobility that our nation has always offered to its young and its poor," Daniels said in a statement, which was released by Romney's campaign.
The statement echoed Daniels' concerns about the federal debt that drew him attention as a possible GOP presidential candidate before he bowed out last year, saying his family had vetoed the idea of a White House run.
Daniels, who cannot seek a third term as governor because of term limits, has been mentioned as a possible choice for vice president. The Romney campaign initiated that search this week. Daniels will leave the governor's office in January.
Daniels said Romney has proven that he understands the nation's challenges and "is prepared to summon Americans to the changes that will restore the American Dream."
Prior to serving as Indiana governor, Daniels served as director of the Office of Management and Budget in President George W. Bush's administration. He also is a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan and a one-time senior executive at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co.
Romney said in a statement that Daniels shares his business background and that Daniels has used those private sector principles as governor.
"Indiana has been served well by his leadership based on fiscal discipline, smaller government, and a friendly environment for job creators. I am honored to have his support and look forward to working with him to fix our economy and get our country on the right track," Romney said.