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. Kyle

    RON PAUL! I don't trust any of these guys, don't trust the dems either, Ron Paul for president 2012! Sound money!

    February 22, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Please let's be honest guys, the same idiots questioning Obama's citizenship and faith will pick Jindal, Piyush Jindal- riiiiight.

    February 22, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. catmom

    I just hope that if any of them decide to run, they will remember how the chose to undermine the current President. Funny how Barbour was just complaining about President Obama being in perpetual campaign. But then they would know since they started their campaign on Nov. 5, 08.

    February 22, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. Unshrub

    I guess the republicans need a sacrificial lamb.

    February 22, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. Unshrub

    I guess the republicans need a sacrificial lamb.

    February 22, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. Clark Miller in Clovis, CA

    Don't know or care about Sanford or Pawlenty. But it's obvious from the comments, that the posters have no idea who Bobby Jindal is.
    He is one of the best and brightest individuals of my generation and what he has done in his short time as governor of Louisiana is nothing short of miraculous. His greatest weakness is that he espouses the belief of personal responsibility and accountability in this era of "what can my country do for me".
    I'm not sure the Divided States of America even deserve a candidate as worthy as Jindal for president – as noted in Peter's comments "Jindal is a good man but I doubt I want him my president" - Why should we want a good man in the oval office...

    February 22, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. mike

    Any would be better than the idiot we have in office now.

    February 22, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. Daniel

    The Gop have no answers now, yet worried about 2012. Pretty sad. the title should be the Return of the three amigoes. I think Crist might give it a try also

    February 22, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. JT in Fla

    Aw!! Come on. Let's try Bush Cheney and Rumsfeld for war crimes. It would be more interesting than those three jokers! Or that nutbag Sarah Palin.

    February 22, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. Ike

    Let them try it and they will see that Americans don't like them.

    February 22, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  11. Old lady voter

    These GOP now governors but presidential wannabees are just proving that they will throw their own constituents in front of a train if it will get them elected. What a sorry bunch.

    February 22, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  12. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    After Bush W, any one of them could qualify, but the people will have the say so, and it will no longer be based on lies, spin, perception and preying on our religious sentiments. Keep it real and honest and show that it is about the people's business. We do not need a king, even if only a figurehead. We need someone who will recognize that it is the people's government for the people's interest.

    February 22, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  13. Ron L

    NONE of them have a snowball in hells chance to WIN. They are all showing just how narrow minded they are when they explain theIr position when it comes to the stimulus package. They would rather see the poor and unfortunate people in their state continue to struggle instead of accept the money. Their ignorance of what the COUNTRY really needs is quite pathetic.
    For them to say that the stimulus bill is too small or wasteful when 80% or more of the top economist IN THE WORLD actually feel it may be too small just shows how little the truly understand economics.
    Here are the hard cold facts that everyone needs to remember. For the last 8 years we have tried the old CUT TAXES to increase employment theory and here are the results...
    1) 3 million new jobs, when America needs 100,000 new jobs a month to keep up. So they actually created 50% of what was needed.
    2) The average American family lost $2,000 year year in wages. And if it weren't for all of the CHEAP items being imported from China we would have felt it even more.
    3) The lost of about 500,000 manufacturing jobs, because the Government did not even care to address it.
    4) The average American family ran up a boat load of debt because with flat wages and everything else going up in price it was the ONLY way to survive with a little comfort.
    In short this policy only worked for those earning more than $200,000.00 a year...NOT MANY OF US!! So don't be fooled again!!

    February 22, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  14. Cmkclark

    "A statesman looks to the next 100 year and a politician only looks to the next election......." Are self-interested politicians all we have anyt longer? The Republicans offer no leadership, no vision and don't care about anything other than their own grabs at power. They need to support their current President and help clean up their own mess.

    February 22, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. Eloise

    This country needs to wake up... socialism is at our doorstep! Our choice now remains... open and let it in, or slam the door shut in its sorry face!

    February 22, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. Richie

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    The citizens of Louisiana, South Carolina and Minnesota are fools if they even re-elect the bozos as governor.

    Ha ha ha - you make me laugh, fools.

    February 22, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  17. enoughalready

    Curly ...Moe & ..Larry

    February 22, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  18. Rodney

    I find it amusing that the liberals on here so soundly reject the people who say they don't think the Presidents plan will work.
    So what do yo usay to the President then who stated on TV that they are not sure the plan will work either? Did he even bother to read what he wanted passed before he signed it? Would you want to sign a loan for that amount and not know what you were signing? folks that's what the people are really asking, if it works hey that is super and I pray it does, but there is also a 50 percent chance it won't.

    February 22, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  19. California Gold

    Larry, Mo and Curly

    February 22, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  20. Martin (England)

    Now I really don't like the GOP, but it's pretty obvious that anyone who thinks Obama will have an easy election next time round is a fool.

    By the way I laughed hugely at the Democrat who called the GOP "idoits" (their spelling) someone who can't even do a cursory proof-reading of their own comments surely shouldn't be attacking someone who managed to win an election (even Bush for all his faults wasn't a complete idiot).

    The truth is, by the time the next election comes around Obama will be facing a much tougher election. He had a gift of an opponent, he was a great candidate and American needed him. However Americans often choose the worst president and a nation that can choose Reagan over Carter and call Reagan a "great president" is capable of immense stupidity. Anyone who thinks Bush was a bad president obviously doesn't remember the moron Reagan (and the idiots who still idolize him).

    I hope Obama does win through, but it's not a sure thing.

    February 22, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  21. Gerry In Toronto

    So here are the three wise men of the republican party:

    The Exorcist-Jindal
    The Racist-Sanford
    The Dreamer: Tim Pawlenty

    Please, please let it be Jindal. I can't wait to see Move On.org's ad of Jindal doing another exorcism.

    February 22, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. Bethie in Texas

    "Jindal 2012 (then again, anyone but Obama in 2012). Too bad you can't impeach a president for incompetence." (Mike from Houston)

    Yes, it really is too bad. We could've impeached Bush in his first year for ignoring the warnings from Clinton and the NSA about the growing terrorist threats. Bush was too busy taking vacations to get around to meeting with his cabinet members about this. When he finally got finished with his August vacation and met with the group in September, the attack was imminent. Then, after 911, he took his eyes off the ball and pushed for an invasion in Iraq. He lied to Congress so that he could get his way. How many lives would have been saved if we had had a competent president during the last 8 years? We gave Bush two terms, Mike; I think you could give Obama more than one month to judge his competence or lack thereof.

    February 22, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  23. John

    I think it's quite telling how so many here refer to Republicans as "Repugs", painting them as racists, or referring to these three men as losers, idiots, etc. In the end, Democrats can be just as ugly and as intolerant as anyone else. I have no love for the GOP, and I think their collective leadership during the Bush administration was catastrophically poor. That said, I still believe in judging candidates for their individual ideas, rather than the letter beside their name.

    February 22, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. leon pa

    three idoits

    February 22, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Effra

    "In January of 2006, Illinois' junior senator made a definitively stated on NBC's Meet the Press that he was not interested in running for president."

    WHAT IS A "DEFINITIVELY STATED"? You need a noun where "stated" is.

    February 22, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
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