Daniels' comments got the attention of David Axelrod, President Obama's political strategist, who tweeted late Thursday: "Even Mitt's friends are warning him. Grinding negativism has its limits."
In an interview with Indianapolis Star columnist Matthew Tully, Daniels, discussing the Romney campaign, said, "You have to campaign to govern, not just to win.... Spend the precious time and dollars explaining what's at stake and a constructive program to make life better. And as I say, look at everything through the lens of folks who have yet to achieve."
After a pause, Tully reported in his blog, Daniels added with disappointment, "Romney doesn't talk that way."
Check out CBS News political director John Dickerson's "Hotsheet Live" Reporters Roundtable on Romney's VP pick in video to left.
"You don't change one thing about the policies you advocate or your principles," Daniels told Tully, adding that Romney's message to donors shouldn't be about how his policies affect the well-heeled but how they would help Americans trying to get on the ladder of success.
"It's not complicated," said Daniels, who last year declined to get into the presidential contest despite encouragement from within the GOP. "But for some reason sometimes candidates just miss that."