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. MN girl

    Keep Pawlenty away from the White House. After a bridge falls out of the sky we should not have to override a veto for a minor gas tax that will help us repair our bridges.

    February 22, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  2. lis

    well of the three Jindal is probably the best... but as kayway said, unfortunately he probably wouldn't get elected by his party.

    February 22, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. CBH

    If these 3 governors still plan to reject Federal bailout money then they will have to answer to the people of their state. Neither has a chance of being elected president and should be worried about the fallout of refusing to help the people living ion their state.

    February 22, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. survivor

    It is clear to me that a politition is a politition is a politition -ii– there is really no real plan to take care of the nany problems we face its just I want to be the one in charge – ir loks like a real no win situation for this eountry – I just hope Obama can nake progress quickly!

    February 22, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. Keith

    Let's at least give the new President his first 100 days before chattering about 2012! These guys need a chance to try actual governance before campaigning again. The media are scamming us for ratings.

    February 22, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. Edward Colon

    Isn't Jindal the guy who favors creationism taught in public schools? Can anyone take him seriously or the GOP for the matter?

    February 22, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. arc, Lugano CH

    Are the Republicans who hung effigies of President Obama going to vote for Jindal? Will Palin supporters consider Jindal one of 'them'? Or are they going to teach their children that you would need 'gloves to touch him'? This was evident on video during a Palin rally.

    It was beautiful when I saw these stories from non-American global news sources while abroad during the election season. Thanks to real time news, the rest of the world got a good long truthful description of Republican/Conservative Americans – and their disgusting Queen.

    At least now the rest of the world only hates half of the American populace – the red half.

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

    To you think any of those guys have a chance against Guv?

    She could stay out of the spot light for the next two years and still get the nomination.

    After Obama it will be a cat walk.

    February 22, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. Lori

    Are you kidding me? Are these the 3 idiots that Pres Obama will have to contend with the next election? If so, we'll have another landslide in 2012!!! This is almost as funny as Sarah Palin potentially being VP or even Pres. Republicans, just stay in the hole the American people put you in last November!

    February 22, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. Darren D.

    Let the 3 play games, GOP Lady'sare going for AK Miss America!

    February 22, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. z

    If the Republic-Klans idea of.... Captialism for All is such a great thing and cut tax to say zero and with no oversite by the government. Do they really think the infrastructure will stand, be repaired and new infrastructure be built?

    On another Note: Wwe should also disband all our military because each member of the Military has a level and gets paid based on that level. They also get health care too and their paid by the our government....hmmmm....sounds like Socialism that the Repubs HATE.....

    If the Repulicans thought 2008 was bad for them....wait for 2010 and 2012.....can you say...Ding Dong The Elephant Is Dead.

    February 22, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. Georgia Gal

    I thought Jindal already said he wouldn't run.

    February 22, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    So what if he is a Catholic convert? An" ardent catholic" like Pelosi isn't any different when it comes to abortion. I have never read or heard anyone talk about the tribes of these African Americans. That's the whole point, straight, full blooded(not bi-racial) American. Obama knows which tribe in Kenya he belongs to. Do the rest of the African Americans blacks know where they came from? Yesterday on a local channel they ran a " We have a dream" that consisted of successful Black personalities and two whites. Ted Kennedy and Tom Cruise. Tom sounded like a lost cause and Ted in my opinion was somewhat confused when he tried to explain fairness in this great country. Before they ran this program the local channel aired the "good people" of 2008. In it we saw the American soldier who received the coconut said to be delivered by Island natives that saved John F Kennedy's life. Is this what the change was all about.? If so I would be worried. Just be thankful that the natives saved his life. Leave the rest to God.

    February 22, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. john

    they look like the three stooges!! lol!

    February 22, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. Old Artillery Man

    As a citizen of South Carolina I can only say Mark Sanford would make George Bush look like a superhero.

    February 22, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. SC Resident

    A sure fire way for Obama to win a second term would be for the Republicans to nominate Sanford. He barely won the Republican Primary in 2002. The only reason he won the general was because of South Carolina becoming a republican stalwart state.SInce his reign South Carolina has faced rampant unemployment and according to Time magazine he is responsibility for bringing the South Carolina economy to a standstill. Most recently, he has been critical of the Recovery Act, prompting CNN contributor Paul Begala to blog on CNN that Sanford should reject accepting the money slated for South Carolina, which, naturally, Sanford has stated he will not do, so much for living up to his Republican Convictions. Sanford is nothing more than an empty shirt who can't even remember to take his voters registration card to his polling place and can't show up to sign a domestic violence bill or participate in a budget debate. One of his pet projects is an attempt to overhaul the state's public education system, he has been in office since 2002 and South Carolina has the lowest graduation rate in the nation only 58% of freshman graduate four years later. So by all means Republicans, nominate Mark Sanford.

    February 22, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. Shilo

    I'M a republican and if that whos running I won't be voting

    February 22, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  18. Jerry Houston

    If these three are the best the party has to offer RNC is in bad shape. Oh that's right RNC is in bad shape.

    February 22, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    @ Mike in Houston.....

    what I think is REALLY incompetent is judging a man who has only had the job for a month and wanting to impeach him. To me that shows that you never really wanted to give him a chance anyway. I live in Houston as well and know a couple of "Mikes" that hold the same right wing extremist views that you do. I wonder if you just might be one of them. If the GOP has problems with voting for a man of color then Jindal won't get the backing either and being in the red state of Texas you know as well as I do what I'm talking about. You know you guys have problems with names that "don't sound really American"!

    February 22, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  20. Kyle

    Maybe Jeb will run! Just so long as it is not Palin. I am a Republican so I want the best person possible and it is not Palin. I like the Gov of Fla, but I do not think he will run. You see when this bill the messiah is trying to make work, fails, he will be ousted in 2012!

    February 22, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. JIM CO.

    COMEON CNN, I think most of us are tired of cable news and all this 2012 election nonsense. Why don't you all go out and get a real job. Help build America not keep up all your negative news for ratings. Talk about something positive like maybe you guys getting laid off.

    February 22, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  22. Mike in Texas

    I couldn't agree with you more Bethie. To Mike in Houston....30 days and you are already griping. Jeez. Obama is doing more in 30 days than Bush did in 8 years. And these repub bozos....they say the package is bad yet they 1) haven't read it all and 2) offer no solutions other than tax cuts for the rich. But I guess you know to get us out of this don't you?

    February 22, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  23. AJ

    Wow! Is this what the GOP is left with? Tim Pawlenty was the ackward and shy Governor who defended McCain poorly. Mark Sanford was the idiot Governor (yes in my home state) who could not name specific policies for which McCain stood for while trying to defend him, and last but not least, Bobby Jindal. What can I say? If Bobby Jindal truly thinks he has a chance with no American roots past 40 years then he is sadly mistaken!

    February 22, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  24. Richard-Missouri

    I'm a staunch CONSERVATIVE Republican, and none of these guys interestes me in the least. Neither does Palin (she's an even bigger loser than these three). If this is all the Repubs have, then Dems will have an easy time winning again, and continuing with the damage to our nation. I'm thinking the Republican leadership is TRULY clueless! They actually put forth McCain and his wingnut side-kick (who I said from the get go was a loser), and now this is all they can come-up with? They better get with it, or they should not even bother putting up a nominee in 2012!

    February 22, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Jean2

    Is that why they refused the funds??

    February 22, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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