(CNN) – Don't look for any surprise presidential announcements, or change of party from Senator Chuck Hagel anytime soon. "I'm not considering an independent bid for the presidency," the Republican from Nebraska told NBC's Tim Russert on Sunday.
"I don't have any plans to change parties," he said when asked whether he was considering becoming an idependent. "I'm a Republican." Hagel has been the subject of speculation regarding such a move.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made headlines, and whispers of a possible presidential run last month, when he dropped his standing as a Republican and announced he was an independent. Hagel said the current political climate might allow for an independent candidate in the race. "I do think that because of the political currrents, as they are running unpredicatbly today opens up all kinds of possibilites for next year that we haven't seen maybe ever in this country," he said. "A legitimate bid for the presidency could well be very possible next year for someone."
- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford