February 22nd, 2009
05:15 PM ET
6 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. DaveL

    How do you spell "idiot"? G-O-P

    February 22, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. johnken

    i will like to see if any of them have "balls." contesting in 2012 will be a sorry adventure for anyone of them. if they like their current status in politics, i advice they dont, because a shot at the presidency by anyone of them at a time BO will be going for his second tenure will result in that person's political death. afterall, sarah palin knows why she avoided the NGA convention-a word is enough for the wise!!!! Americans are begging to see the Republicans in their true color-UNREASONABLE AND GREEDY GOP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. thomas

    You had me fooled. I thought those were pics of Barney, Gomer and Goober.

    February 22, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. Alex Santana

    These GOPer don't get it do they? Do they not realize that they got whumped at the polls? That GOP party is in rags? Look at their supporters, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity...listen to any one of these for more than a minute and the hate spills out of the radio. These 3 GOP need to realize that their "rightwing" stance, is NOT in the majority..it may never have been, but they cannot cram their crap down the throats of the US anymore...Sanford is dangerous, as is Palin and Pawlenty of course has no national aura...Jindal seems too smart to be in the GOP...they can whine and wheeze all they want, this country is more centrist then they think we are...

    February 22, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Drew

    THE THREE STOOGES, lol hahahahahahahaha... Now I see why they act the way they do...

    They will all lose I guarantee it. The Repugs cannot win anyone over except their Repug base if that's the case 2012 will be the same as 2008.

    February 22, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. running on empty

    these are the brightest lightbulbs in the box?

    our country is doomed

    February 22, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Mattie

    IN ORDER FOR ANY OF THEM TO BECOME PRESIDENT, THEY HAVE TO BE FOR THE PEOPLE AND I DON'T SEE THIS HAPPENING.

    February 22, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Greg in Colorado

    Good Luck with that!!!

    February 22, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  9. Big Al C.

    These guys are sharp they are devoted republicans and their states are getting just what they voted for. It is great to see a republican stand up and take it like a man. After all they have principals that have to be protected no matter who may suffer. I am so proud of these fine outstanding republicans who have a backbone. The rest of the governors that are republicans should show Obama they want take that money either. Just let the states with democrate governors have the money that way it wil go farther. And come 2010 those republican bozos will get the boot.

    February 22, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Daleesp

    They can run if they want to but they won't win. Barrack will run his two terms then Hillary will finish off the next two terms then Chelsea has maybe two more. Forget about it repubs...unless some intern gets a hold of Obama cigar you are done!!

    February 22, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. NoMo Bush

    James Brown sang a song that said "Please Please Please Please". Please Rethuglicans run any one of these dogs and Obama will have another four years.

    February 22, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. better dead than democrat

    all democrats that don't support gindal are racists. the guys has so much more experience, intelligence and class that barry.

    the only thing he doesn't have going for him is that he is not the right kind of minorty for the democrats. he isn't a branless liberal, that falls for the tricks and racebating of bill clinton, jesse, and al.

    February 22, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. better dead than democrat

    these guys all have what it takes to beat barry. i can't wait for the libs and dems to start playing the race cards for 2012 against these guys.

    February 22, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Joe Fattal

    If Gov.Jindal runs in 2012, he is going to give Obama a run for his money, and I hope Obama has a lot of money he is going to need it. And don't play the race card either President Obama, Jindal is darker than you are.

    February 22, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. Marty, FL

    I would not vote for any of them. All three have shown they speak talking points for the Republican Party, not country. In that regard, I was particularly disappointed in Gov. Jindal on Meet the Press today.

    Push, play, rewind.....no thanks.

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

    CNN why don't you tell the people what Obama really said. Wasn't it I don't have the experience? CNN is so biase it makes me sick.

    February 22, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Toby in Illinois

    That's why they want to turn down the stimulus for their states. It may hurt the people of their states, but it will certainly help win over the national GOP base.
    And, of course, the people in the rest of the country will never ask, "If they treated their state's citizens this way, how will they ...?"

    February 22, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Why would ANYONE WANT TO SUPPORT AND VOTE FOR SOMEONE (Bobby Jindal) who simply refuses to provide much needed aid to his constituents, SIMPLY BECAUSE HE WAS NOT
    THE ORIGINATOR OF THE AID PACKAGE? HIS EXCUSES DO
    NOT HOLD WATER!

    Some of these Republican Governors who claim THAT
    THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT THEIR SHARE OF THE STIMULUS
    PACKAGE, are really putting their FUTURE POLITICAL
    ASPIRATIONS IN A VERY SHAKY POSITION . Are they REALLY
    SO CLUELESS?

    February 22, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. John in KY

    They'll have to push away "RUSH STINKBURGER" first.

    February 22, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. Rick Sutter

    Democrats can't get out of their own way rushing headlong to the hog trough. Republicans will be back, hopefully in time to save what will be left of our Republic after 4 years of Obambi and the Pelosi crowd.

    February 22, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Rick

    I'm a republican and I wouldnt vote for any of these guys. The Repubs dont have anything going for them right now. The entire party needs an overhaul. They need to discover the root cause of the entire problem before they can overhaul. Its like an addict, the repubs need to acknowledge their problems before the....y can be cured..

    February 22, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. hope

    Jindal can do an exorcism for his campaign. Then, he'll cut heads off of chickens to keep evil spirits away...

    He's a total whack job. He'd turn us into a right wing christian state in no time.

    February 22, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  23. Cynthia

    Jindal and Sanford can't even govern their own states let alone run the country. Pawlenty needs a lot more backbone.

    February 22, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. america first

    the republican rein is OVER, ga's ARROGANT gov, perdue is saying he might not accept the sitimulus money, poor ga. it's time to put a DEMOCRATE in office, one that will have your best interest in mind instead of the uncaring republican party.

    February 22, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Robert Wooller Bradford England UK

    If I were any of the Republicans I would be deeply worried that Obama is still campaigning after the election. He won by so much and he is gaining even more ground, and all the Republicans can muster to fire back at the Democrats is we don't agree with the bail out bill. It is just pathetic. But, hey, this is why Obama won. He is a very intelligent man, he doesn't think about him self, only others and he has a great message. If the Republicans care at all about America, they will do the right thing and support the bail out now it has passed. Obama was right to do something and passing the stimulus will prove to be the right course of action.

    February 22, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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