February 22nd, 2009
05:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Three Republicans won't rule out White House run

 Govs. Jindal, Pawlenty, and Sanford would not rule out running for president in 2012.
Govs. Jindal, Pawlenty, and Sanford would not rule out running for president in 2012.

(CNN) – In January of 2006, Illinois' junior senator definitively stated on NBC's Meet the Press that he was not interested in running for president.

On Sunday, three Republican governors and potential White House hopefuls were considerably more cautious in answering the same question Barack Obama did three years ago.

"What I'm saying is I'm running for re-election. I have no, no plans beyond that," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said on Meet the Press after facing repeated questions about his political future.

On Fox News Sunday, neither South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford or Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty would definitively rule out running.

"Is it a plan? Absolutely not. Is it a likelihood? Absolutely not. But I've learned that you never say guaranteed on tomorrow when you don't know tomorrow," Sanford said.

Pawlenty, meanwhile, said he is currently deciding whether to run for reelection in 2010.

"I'm first thinking about running for reelection for governor in the state of Minnesota, and that's my focus. And if I do, you know, people would expect you to serve out that term," he said.

To be sure, all three answers were significantly less definitive than the answer then-Senator Obama gave in 2006.

"I will serve out my full six-year term," he said then. "My thinking has not changed."


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • Mark Sanford • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. Robert Nicholson

    I think it will be Kay Bailey Hutchinson in 2012 ... It has to be a woman to even stand a chance.

    February 22, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. Jason

    Oh please, Teddy city, there is NO WAY our country can handle the evil machinations of Hilary and Bill again. Bill destroyed our economy, Bush gets the blame, and now Hilary wants to run the country to prove she can do better than her husband? What the he?? She is a dog that just won't lie down. I can only pray that Hilary NEVER gets elected as president. Heck, she's going to destroy our country some just by being the idiot power seeker she is right now for Obama, another idiot for placing her into such a powerful office. Politics as usual from Obama, the man that promised to stop politics as usual after he was elected. Joke. Palin in 2012.

    February 22, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. Max

    For a party that had no answers in 2004, the Democrats are remarkably cocky right now.

    February 22, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  4. Ricky

    Don't they understand that the Republican Party has already done enough damage to this country and the voters have already shown they are sick and tired of it.
    These three are about as right wing as you can get, the last thing America needs.
    I hope they do run, just to watch the voters say thanks, but no thanks.

    February 22, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. Former Marine Air-winger

    leon pa February 22nd, 2009 8:07 pm ET

    three idoits
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    I love it when ignorant people try to put down better educated people and can't spell words correctly. Thanks public schools! Anyway, I think that it is becoming more apparent that we could not trust the words that came out of BO's mouth in 2006, and we still can't. How about having a lobbyist-free administration... yeah that turned out to be a dang lie.....hope you suckers like paying other people's mortgages, I know that I don't...

    February 22, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  6. Lillian

    NO MORE RIGHT WING CONSERVATIVES!!
    Wait & see how well they govern their states.

    February 22, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  7. connect the dots

    Im going to run if this keeps up,at least around the block,or to the mountains.

    February 22, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  8. DanielleMN

    Pawlenty has turned my beloved MN into a revenue-free, democracy-free mediocrity.
    He will do the same for my beloved nation.

    February 22, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  9. floridakaye

    Oh my god....

    Can you just see moderates and independents RUNNING away from a primary with these three on the ballot?? It's almost amusing – hope Steele can get that hip-hop vote going...yeah, Jindal-Sanford-Pawlenty, great appeal for that hip-hop voter! hahahahahahahahahahahahaha....

    February 22, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  10. RG

    the press/media is just that.
    trying to keep itself in business.
    hell, we just got over the election of 2008 and the incumbant has not even setled in the white house and the press is talking about the next four years.
    does the media know what the next week, month, year is going to be like?
    do you guys really have nothing to do and say about the present time.
    i mean how do you get to be in the media.
    let the governors of the GOP rip (REST IN being POWERLESS).

    February 22, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  11. ha ha ha...

    Seems everyone is unhappy with the present prezzz, otherwise so many people wouldn't be talking about the 2012 Presidential Election. It didn't take long, your hope and change truned into doom and gloom.

    February 22, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. Dale

    I hope Obama does a good job so he can get another 4 years. Each time Republicans come in we lose jobs...then Dems have to help them out

    February 22, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  13. JonPeter in Hartford, CT

    To "I'm a staunch CONSERVATIVE Republican, and none of these guys interestes me in the least. Neither does Palin..." have you considered the problem with the republican party is catering to the conservative minority while ignoring the moderate majority in this country ? Conservative republicans have been so exclusive it is no surprise the democrats are picking up the middle and clobbering the republicans.

    The republican party needs closer to the center leadership to meld smaller gov't and fiscal responsibility with social inclusiveness. The conservatives can have a seat at the table as a minority viewpoint. The party needs to get back to where it was under Reagan with a strong moderate presence and some conservative deomcrat support.

    Where the party is right now is like the tail wagging the dog, with predictable results.

    February 22, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
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