Mitch Daniels rules out 2012 presidential bid

Yet another leading Republican has opted against running for president in 2012.

After months of speculation, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced early Sunday he will forgo a bid for next year's GOP nomination, citing the concerns of his family.

"The counsel and encouragement I received from important citizens like you caused me to think very deeply about becoming a national candidate," Daniels said in an email to supporters, per Politico. "In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one ... the interests and wishes of my family is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry."

Daniels' family, especially his wife, Cheri, had been openly wary of the scrutiny a presidential run would bring. His wife, who has until recently avoided the media spotlight, was worried about attention on their past marital troubles. In 1994, Cheri Daniels left her husband and their four daughters to marry another man. In 1997, after that marriage ended in divorce, she and Daniels reconciled.

The episode, which was not mentioned in the governor's official bio, only gained attention recently, as Daniels considered a 2012 bid. But even as Cheri Daniels inched further into the spotlight, her husband apparently couldn't overcome her concerns and those of their now-adult daughters.

"Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties," Daniels said in a statement to the Indianapolis Star. "I love my country; I love my family more."

Daniels' decision leaves a gaping hole in the 2012 GOP race. While the governor was non-committal about the race, several high-profile Republicans, including Govs. Chris Christie and Haley Barbour, had urged him to run.

Daniels, who previously worked as former President George W. Bush's budget director, also had the support of many former Bush establishment types, including many of the ex-president's top aides and donors.

His decision comes just a week after another high-profile contender, Mike Huckabee, ruled out a 2012 bid.

(Photo of Daniels: AJ Mast/AP)