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. Dayahka

    Anyone can run for president–and many drop out. Of these three, Pawlenty would be formidable, but I hope it's Sanford just so we can see him beaten to a pulp and cast out and humbled.

    February 22, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. What future?

    Not sure which would be worse, Palin or Sanford... I can only hope that President Obama does well in the next four years so that we won't have to worry about either.

    February 22, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. ken from jefferson city mo

    These are the best the republican party has to offer I hope not these
    guys couldn't beat Sarah Palin I wish Gov Crist would run because
    he 's a republican that's for the people and can work both sides.

    February 22, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. blacklovr

    any and/or all are 10 times better than the Jenkem huffing empty suit we have in there now.

    February 22, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    They are "SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVEIL, & DO NO EVIL" They are all blind to reality.

    February 22, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Simmy

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

    What's your problem with his Change of mind? He was the candidate of Change, and he will Change the way Washington operates. No Change is easy, but Change is necessary. Change the way you do your reporting. Some of your comments are obviouly biased. Ha.........

    February 22, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Laura

    I am 'lucky' enough to live in Sanford's state. He is an utter disaster. I literally know NO ONE who supports what he has done to SC in his second term. SURELY he cannot get the republican nomination. If people actually vote for he (or Palin), I will have to permanently leave the party that seems to be trying it's hardest to turn me away.

    February 22, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. KFR

    They are all afraid to face SP to see who gets to the primaries first. I now agree all mentioned are big big losers.

    February 22, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Charlie in Maine

    "GOP governors: Stimulus money may hurt in long run."

    Yeah just like the New Deal hurt Republicans in the long run 60 years no majority, let's go for 100 years this time.

    February 22, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Irishny

    Jindal should run.
    He'd make a fine president.
    The republicans need some young blood coming through.

    February 22, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Mike G

    Jindal is not a "good man", he's a packaged politician. Take it from me, I live in Louisiana, I know. He's a total phony.

    February 22, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. joe

    who cares. Tired of politics already!

    February 22, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. Angie

    three more gop loser. bring 'em on.

    February 22, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. PJP

    WHO?????????????

    February 22, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. ED

    I though that the GOP only had two stooges and here they show up with three . Will Wonders never cease.

    February 22, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. JPM

    they're running already – doesn't everybody already know?

    February 22, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Buddy

    We missed out Huckabee is the man for the job. We can only hope Congress changes They already hurt Obama with Pork bill. Congress was worse than Bush.

    February 22, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Val in MA

    All three of them are fine governors. Obama most certainly will be worried should either one of them decide to run. Obama will be CRUSHED in 2012 since our country is going to be in the worse shape than it is right now by the time his first term ends. My bet is, Obama won't even run for re-election he'll let Hilary do it. What a loser Obama is – worse than Carter.

    February 22, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. fearful for my country

    I'm a white female and the only one of these 3 I would vote for is Bobby Jindl. I never thought I'd vote for aomeone not 100% american but I'm beginning to see being american as being more of a minset. This man cares about this country. Unlike what we have now. And the same ole white man mind set in the republican party...well..not working for ya. I was a democrat who voted for Sarah palin because she has more balls than all of them put together.

    February 22, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. Adrian in CA

    Any one of them would be better than Obama.

    February 22, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. Zion

    I am so sick of the the Republicans now using people of color as a way to blacken their party. Jindal, you were so important until you only had a 2 minute speaking part during the McCain/Palin fiasco. Now suddenly, you may be viable for president. Wow, I love my covert racists in this country.

    February 22, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Amanda

    Look at their pictures ! The 3 stooges. Can't wait to see these 3 morons making a fool of themselves.

    February 22, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Teddy City

    What about Hillary Clinton ??? She shouldn't rule out a white house run either.

    February 22, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Sabrina

    Governor Sanford & Jindel govern two of the poorest states in the union and they are both on record planning to deny stimulus benefits from the people of their respective states. To think they have a chance at the presidency is nothing but a complete JOKE! Pawlenty is another hypocrite speaking out against the stimulus but planning to take the money.

    February 22, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. Linda from Minnesota

    While I would welcome the chance at getting Pawlenty out of Minnesota, I wouldn't wish him on our country.

    February 22, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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