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Daniels acknowledges judgment error in making think tank speech

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says he made a judgment error delivering a paid speech at a conservative Minnesota think tank's fundraiser.

In a public letter published online Thursday by the Journal & Courier (, the former Indiana governor said he has turned down many appearances because the potential downsides outweighed the opportunity to promote Purdue.

He said he should have done the same when The Center of the American Experiment approached him.

Some Purdue faculty members have questioned Monday's speech because Daniels has said repeatedly he would avoid partisan political activities as Purdue president. Daniels said his remarks there were "scrupulously nonpartisan."

Daniels and the university have not disclosed how much he was paid. He said he'll use the honorarium to help fund scholarships that he and his wife, Cheri, are providing to Purdue students.