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. thomas harding

    That's the cream of the crop??

    February 22, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Minnesotan

    Larry, Curly and Moe want to run for President? Go for it! The world needs cretins like this to run so that the Democrats can continue fixing the disasters, debacles, failed policies, and corruption that the Republicans have brought to America.

    February 22, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. johnrj08

    Ah! So the three GOP governors who have been most vocal in their criticism of the stimulus have presidential aspirations. What a surprise.

    February 22, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Gop

    Any one of these three could beat Obama! Funny thing is McCain just about beat Obama and that was without much help from real conservatives.

    I have no problem quoting Bush when I say bring on your left wing bums like Obama!

    2012 the Gop takes back this country from all you left wing nuts out here!

    enjoy your 4 years that will be the last time you see the inside of the white house!

    February 22, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Kevin

    I used to like Jindal, but refusing to take the stimulus money is a very bad move. However, the Republican Party, after PresideGW Bush, needs to have some time off.

    The Recovery Plan is an excellent move by President Obama. However, I think the Republicans want to see America fail to regain power in the future.

    It want work, President Obama and this Democratic Party is smarter than the 5th grade Republicans.

    February 22, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. Brad

    Mickey Mouse would be better than the Communist we have in the White House right now. Any of these 3 would bring America back to what it is – the LAND OF OPPORTUNITY and not the LAND OF WELFARE. I swear, the people who post on CNN must be from the ME generation – its not about you idiots its about the Country and DEMOCRACY!!!!!

    February 22, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. FreeNLovIt

    I dont think they have the vision nor the charisma of Obama. They better be great speakers!! Hee..hee..hee..

    February 22, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  8. Bill in Dallas

    That's right. GOP's new slogan, Party above country. These three Republicans are more concerned with their political future rather than helping solve the economic problems brought on by their party. We will continue to see obstructionist behavior from these selfish party hacks.

    February 22, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. marianne

    Jesus....Welcome to the Socialist Republic of the United State of America, where everybody whats a piece of pie, even if they didn't buy the ingridients and didnt bake it. This country used to be the land of opportunity: you work hard and smart – you achieve what you want. Not anymore. You work hard and smart – you have to share with everyone, just because it is fair. It was like this in the USSR. Say two people work in a basket weaving factory. One person waorks his butt off, making beautiful high quality baskets. The other one is a slacker, his baskets are junk...but guess what! Both make the same amount on pay check. So this is what is coming to the states near you. How can a president, who never ballance anything in his life besides the checkbook, how can Peloci, who didn't run even a lemonade stand can tell us what to do? These people are a joke, along with every single granola munching liberal in the world. Posers.

    February 22, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. tigerakabj

    I can't wait for Jindal's response for Obama. I want to see this Obama-wannabe really drive more racists out of the GOP, so that the party can continue its march off a cliff.

    The GOP has no message except the daily talking points that Limbaugh feeds them, and he is their leader.

    These 3 governors better pray Obama doesn't hit them too hard with Bush prosecutions once all the evidence is ready to be brought forth.

    Given the last 8 years of sheer horror from start to finish (2000 election theft, 9/11, Iraq War, Katrina, economic collapse), I hope Bush is the last GOP president.

    February 22, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Matt M

    Curious to know Seattle Sue, Debra, and Peter's analysis of exactly why these people aren't appropriate to fill the ticket outside of emotional statements like "nut job", "losers" and "Three Blind Mice". I don't know much about any of them. Convince me with facts (outside of other emotion based statements such as "It's Bush all over again". C'mon, you probably went to college...

    February 22, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. arnie

    So which party is campaigning? Oh, I thought so. Mr. President we love you.

    February 22, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. Drew

    The Three Stooges!!! talk about hypocracy these three symbolises it.

    February 22, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. Matt M

    At least "voter" kindof explained things, and his/her argument makes sense.

    February 22, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. JSU-TIGER99

    Now you see why the GOP is not behind President Obama they all want him to fail so when 2012 come they can say "WELL YOU SEE HIS CHANGE DID NOT WORK TRY MINES", What a joke the GOP for not wanting to help better the country since they are the onces that mess it up

    February 22, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. Jezus

    Who vote for these Stupids Republicans Governors ! Especially the one from South Caroline.......................

    February 22, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. MICK in MESA

    Lets hope any one of these three plantation rethugs run for POTUS against Obama.
    Only the evangelical bible warriors, racist rednecks and low information voters would vote for them and there are not enough of these uni-brow types left in "real America" to elect anyone...

    February 22, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. Patsy Madison, TN

    The Republicans are eaten up with losing. But, they will have to come up with more than those three.

    February 22, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. nita

    three stooges

    February 22, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Cathy

    At least Obama had and still harm charm. Jindal looks like a goat and can never charm the american people.

    Pawlenty is fine...I will votre him.

    Stanford looks like a con man...

    February 22, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. From ATLANTA

    To "voter",

    Show your stattistics for your claim. Once again... liberals make claims with no evidence.

    According to a recent CNN Money report, Louisiana was tied for the 15th best employment rating (5.3) at the end of 2008!!!

    Minnesota was tied for 31st with 6.4.

    Of these three senators, only Sanford's state of South Carolina was at the bottom of the pack (tied with California for the 3rd worst). But, if you want to talk about him rejecting the spending bill (what libs will call "stimulus"), perhaps he was actually listening to his constituents who don't want bogged don with taxes!

    Jindal and Pawlenty are excellent governors and bright, young republicans. They will be the face for the new, emerging conservatives. Sanford has plenty of work to do in his state right now, but we will continue to watch.

    Instead of hating, why don't you all hope for the best possible leaders? Perhaps that's too American for you.

    February 22, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. DG

    Bobby Jindal needs to pick a new phrase other than "let's be clear." He repeated that several times this morning. It reminded me of the lawyers talking in the movie Erin Brokovitch. I didn't care for it then either. We are all adults and don't need to be talked to as if we are school kids.

    February 22, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. Cathy

    At least Obama had and still HAS charm.

    Jindal looks like a goat and can never charm the american people.

    Pawlenty is fine…I will votre him.

    Stanford looks like a con man…

    February 22, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. What?

    Why is CNN talking about this now? I'm pretty sure we still have 4 years of Obama...

    Start reporting on something that's currently relevant in the political arena

    February 22, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  25. Kaur

    O.K., HOW ABOUT NOT THINKING ABOUT YOUR ELECTION RUNS AND START THINKING ABOUT HOW TO GET US OUT OF THIS MESS!!

    February 22, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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