- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 22, 2012

He’s been sharply critical of President Obama and his economic agenda, but Dan Danner, president of the National Federation of Independent Business, said he has not been overly impressed so far by what the opposition is offering for small businesses.

Mr. Danner said the Republicans still in the running for the GOP presidential nomination are “missing a great opportunity” by not addressing more concretely the needs of small business owners.

“We don’t see a lot of real dialogue from … the candidates on small businesses,” Mr. Danner said in an interview with editors and reporters at the Washington Times on Wednesday. “That’s a great concern for us.”

Mr. Danner said NFIB officials are trying to reach out to the candidates to talk about small business issues. “It seems both odd and disappointing” that they haven’t done so to date, he added.

Mr. Danner stressed that the NFIB does not endorse presidential candidates, but does endorse candidates for Congress and for many state-level offices. It has members in every congressional district.

And while there will be no presidential endorsement, the NFIB will release some pretty pointed comparisons of the platforms and positions of Mr. Obama and his Republican challenger.

“We will be very involved in the elections,” said Mr. Danner. “We do think it’s a great opportunity to talk about the things we think are important. If the elections are at least in some significant part about jobs and the economy, to us, that’s pretty synonymous with what small business is about,” he added.

The group’s clout has only grown following the 2010 midterm elections, which saw 23 new NFIB members elected to the House and two - Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rand Paul of Kentucky - to the Senate.

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