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. Geo

    It's not going to be any of these three– Let's see - who speaks for the Republican Party?
    Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Ann Coltier–These three are more powerful than anyone in the Congress or any Governor. So -we have a comedian, an Alaskan Governor, and a woman full of herself... Great!

    February 22, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. John

    They may run. But it does not mean that they will be accepted by the people. If they were smart they should forget about it. Obama will be President for the next 8 years unless he fails to perform especially in turning around the ailing economy. After that, Hillary will be the most qualified to take over the leadership. All in all, the Democrats will be in control of the Administration for the next 16 years at least. The only Republican leader that has the Charisma to win the hearts, mind and soul of America is Palin. However, she should first become financially strong by writing a book which will be a bestseller. And she should read tons of books on History, Biographies, and Current Affairs literature on both domestic and foreign affairs. And she should travel the world and meet foreign leaders-especially Israel, Europe and the Pacific Rim Region.

    February 22, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  3. Mike Dallas

    Jindal should "exorcise" all of the problems in Louisiana, such as rebuilding New Orleans after 3 years, bringing down the murder rate in the New Orleans, decreasing the unemployment in the state and rebuilding Charity so the poor people of Louisiana again have access to medical care.

    Then and only then, should he even consider running for the Presidency.

    February 22, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. Mike S., New Orleans

    Jindal has been campaigning for the presidency since he lost the governorship to Kathleen Blanco.

    He won the governorship of Louisiana (the state that ranks last in everything good) by campaigning on ethics reforms. Then he made sure none of those reforms pertained to the Governor's office.

    He has taken Louisiana from 49th in everything, to 49th in everything.

    Please America: not another naked Emporer. Didn't we learn our lesson with George Bush Jr. and the Lucky Birth Club?

    February 22, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    as an Obama supporter, I would LOVE to see the GOP run Jindal against him in 2012, but I doubt if it's going to happen. I think the first reason why it wouldn't happen is pretty obvious. How could the GOP sell this guy to those rual "real Americans" as Gov Palin put it the same ones I saw in that recent HBO special that disliked Obama just because he was black, You think this bunch is going to accept an East Indian for president? Plus the Rush lovers will have to swallow hard as Limbaugh himself would to try to support Gov Jindal as well. Would Rush claim that all the East Indian-Americans voted for him ONLY because he was one of them?

    Despite choosing Steele as the RNC chair..the GOP is STILL the same old GOP. No Obama would mean NO Steele and I think anybody with common sense could see that.

    February 22, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. mark

    Go ahead and waste your money boys. The republicans will be lucky to win 10 states in 2012.

    February 22, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  7. Susan in NC

    Now introducing to the Presidential campaign of 2012,,,,,,,none other than the Three Stooges - Jindal, Sanford, and Pawlenty!

    Is there no way to delay the 2010 and 2012 pre-election "junk" for at least a few months? I've not recovered from Election '08 yet.

    February 22, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  8. tim

    Jindal. are you kidding me?

    I watched him this morning on Meet the Press and I love what the mayor of New Orleans said.... something about how Jindal was talking and acting like he is thinking about running.

    Hey Jindal... you will be forever tied to Bush's terrible management. I wouldn't not accept money.... might irritate a few people in your state. We will gladly take your money you don't want.

    Just a political stunt.

    February 22, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  9. lt

    can you please let it die for a couple of years? we're tired of presidential races for a while.

    February 22, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  10. The race to the bottom

    Im voting for Governor Goodhair from Texas,at least he admits to be working for big oil and gas companies.

    February 22, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  11. Todd

    Once again, CNN.com shows how utterly useless of a "news" organization that it is. We are barely a month into a new four year Presidential term and CNN is reporting on potential candidates for 2012. Pathetic doesn't even begin to describe such behavior.

    February 22, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    So both the Gov's from LA and MA aren't going to acceopt all or part of the stimulus because they want a run for President in 2012? I thought their refusal not accept funds from the stimulus is because neither of them want to make it more easier or agreeable for the persons who were displaced to other states because of Katerina to return to either of those two states.

    February 22, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  13. Brad

    ah, would u look at that, CNN censored my comment...hmmm, guess they are all about the Fairness Doctrine then. Commicrats are going to ruin this one great country. When are ya'll going to wake up and understand it is about the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, not GOVERNMENT SANCTIONED HAPPINESS!

    February 22, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  14. A. Darton

    When your country is in crisis you put the interest of your people before yours. These guys are trying to place them selves for 2012, forget about the people who need help now, just long as I get myself ready to run for president in 2012. After all Louisana went through with Hurricane Katrina, that Governor should be ashame of his self. But to these Governors, don't take any of the money, stand on your high morals and don't accept one penny. That mean it would be more for the other states. I have got to say this before I go, it amazes me that people who supported George Bush have the nerve to say anything about this Stimulus Bill. If this economy wasn't lefted in such a mess for President Obama he wouldn't have to be doing what he is doing. Remember what Bill Clinton left Bush, and what George Bush left President Obama. If this country is destroy it won't be because of President Obama. Who runs everything, who has been in control of everything, the banks, wall street, Congress , Senate, the White House till now, etc., etc. Who I ask? The White man.

    February 22, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    To Joe Fattal, Clark Miller in Clovis, CA, Mike – Houston:

    You guys are saying Jindal in 2012 but obviously you know not what you speak of. Look at the people from Louisiana that are posting and you may learn something. Obviously Gov Jindal has a lot of people fooled about his motives. Every move that he makes is panning out to be self-serving while the people of LA suffer. I can't remember the last time that he was even in LA let alone put my finger on something that he has done to benefit us. If you are concerned for your families and friends you need to pray for our current leader who has an actual heart for PUBLIC service and not SELF-service.

    February 22, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  16. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Yeah if we have more of the preferential mortgage rate that Obama received for the $1.3 million dollar loan then we would not have been in this mess in the first place. If that is not scandal then what is?

    February 22, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  17. G in BR

    To Joe Fattal, Clark Miller in Clovis, CA, Mike – Houston:

    You guys are saying Jindal in 2012 but obviously you know not what you speak of. Look at the people from Louisiana that are posting and you may learn something. Obviously Gov Jindal has a lot of people fooled about his motives. Every move that he makes is panning out to be self-serving while the people of LA suffer. I can't remember the last time that he was even in LA let alone put my finger on something that he has done to benefit us. If you are concerned for your families and friends you need to pray for our current leader who has an actual heart for PUBLIC service and not SELF-service.

    February 22, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  18. Steve in Louisville

    It looks like Louisiana is going to get Jindaled out of the money it deserves from the stim package. And so are the people in the states ruled by other three ignorant Republican governors.

    So here's my thing ...

    Memo to Kentucky Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear:

    Please put in to get some of the money these idiots are leaving on the table. Kentucky can use all the money you can scoop up.

    Thank you.

    February 22, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  19. alvino

    Brad-

    Its good to see that you have picked up Alan Keyes talking points. You need to stop listening to nut cases like him.

    February 22, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  20. atl belle

    Interesting that no one has mentioned the very first sentence of this article. The Junior Senator of Illinois when asked about running for President vehemently denied and emphatically claimed he was excited to serve his six years just like the voters expected......
    hmmmm.....Me thinketh he speaketh with forked tongue.....

    February 22, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. ali

    that's good. Jindal wants to refuse stimulus money for...hello...Hurricaine battered Louisiana/New Orleans, and Pawlenty is scary-conservative. Looks like it'll take a few more election cycles for the republicans to figure out how to win votes!!

    February 22, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  22. Steve

    I am surprised more aren't running. With the current moron in the white house and the inept 'rats in Congress, 2012 will be ripe for the pickings

    February 22, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  23. Jeff from Jersey

    Any Republican dumb enough to run in 2012 should KNOW that it would be the end of their political career so if any of these guys are as smart as they think they are they'll sit that one out because Obama is going to prove he will indeed deserve to be mentioned in the same breath with Lincoln as one of the greatest Presidents that we've ever had.No Republican out there deserves to even SAY "the party of Lincoln" that party became the Democratic party of today and they have proved to be the only party capable of turning our country's economy around.The Republicans have only proven that they are capable of ruining it.

    February 22, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  24. alvino

    Who in their right mind would send any of these three mental midgets campaign donations?

    February 22, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  25. Jason

    There's no way these three fools should be allowed to lead our country, especially with their own shady backgrounds. Besides, they couldn't possibly beat Palin to win the Republican ticket. Go Palin. Palin in 2012. Let's vote an upstanding, deserving person like Palin into office and get rid of the greatest blunder our country has ever made (voting in a junior senator with no experience leading anything, into the office of president).

    February 22, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
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