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Mitch Daniels does The Daily Show

Gov. Mitch Daniels had turned down The Daily Show with Jon Stewart numerous times over the years, perhaps rightly so.

Wednesday night's interview wasn't the easiest or most comfortable for the governor, who joked at the end that he needed a dog for protection.

Daniels agreed to the visit to the reliably Democrat show as part of his ongoing book tour. The book – Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans" was released Tuesday.

The entire interview lasted about 22 minutes and is available online though not everything aired on the show due to time constraints.

It started nicely enough, with Stewart telling Daniels that he is known in almost sacred terms as a fiscally responsible governor that could save the Republican Party. And he noted a woman in the audience supported him for president or vice president.

"One woman?" asked Daniels.

Stewart replied deadpan, "It's our audience."

There were some nice policy exchanges between Daniels and Stewart on the nation's rising debt and suggestions for reforming Social Security and Medicare – the subject of Daniels' book.

Stewart focused on the debt that increased under Republican control but Daniels said he didn't want to re-litigate it while also conceding some GOP responsibility.

Then Stewart moved on to the current fight over corporate tax rates and increases for the wealthy, which led to one slightly testy exchange.

Daniels had said the nation needed to speak the language of unity to attack the debt. Then he questioned President Barack Obama's "obsession with the wealthy people" and said the constant bashing is a distraction.

Stewart pointed out the wording Daniels used – obsession, bashing and confiscate.

"I understand the language of unity and I'm not sure that that's it," he said, to which Daniels softly replied, "fair enough."

Daniels said he got a little defensive because Stewart was asking him to defend positions he hasn't advocated.

Stewart ended the interview by apologizing, saying it is difficult to get prominent Republicans on the show for these discussions and he was excited by Daniels' reputation as a smart, fiscal conservative.

He also said he is always excited to meet someone his same height.

To watch the interview, go to www.thedailyshow.com.

You can contact Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.