I think, really, government works better without them, said Daniels, who restricted unions' collective-bargaining rights in his own state. Money is being devoured by very high salaries, almost bulletproof job protection, and huge pensions.
He said private-sector unions remain necessary, but hopes that the Walker victory will be a turning point in the public union system.
But Daniels cautioned that Walker's win in the recall election last week did not necessarily signal that Wisconsin would vote Republican in the presidential election.
Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff of the AFL-CIO, countered that the public still supports public-sector unions.
That's something that people do support at the end of the day. We have to figure out how to fund it, we have to figure out how to make it viable, but I don't think that voters in this country want to go to a place where our elderly people are living in poverty, she said.