Washington (CNN) - He took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to chants of 'Run John, Run," but Sen. John Thune gave the crowd of eager conservative activists in Washington few hints on whether he will mount a bid for the White House.
The South Dakota Republican did however compare himself to some other likely presidential candidates, noting he caries a decidedly lower profile and may already be a step behind the process of getting his name out.
"It's fair to say I don't have the same national name recognition as some of my Republican colleagues," said Thune. "I've never had a book signing. I've been to Iowa many times, but only on my way to South Dakota. The closest I've ever been on a reality show is C-SPAN's coverage of the Senate Floor. "
The two-term senator went on to serve up a plate of red-meat to the ballroom-capacity crowd, deriding the Obama administration on everything from health care, to its energy policies, to proposed spending cuts on the defense budget.
"To those of us who value freedom and liberty, Washington has been a pretty lonely place for the last two years," Thune said, adding later, "Since 2008 we have witnessed the largest expansion of government since 1960. All that government means a lot less freedom, and it comes with a hefty price tag. "
The South Dakota senator has said he will announce his presidential decision by the end of February, though he is leaning against it, according to several media reports. Speaking to reporters Friday, he added that he is "coming to the final stages" of his decision.
Still, his speech carried all the trappings of a candidate-in-waiting:
"It's important to be in the race, it's important to be in the arena. It's important to be stand up and fight for the things we believe in," he said.
Ah, yes, the "flag pln" the GOP code for: I too am a White Supremist!
let's see, how many idiot republican candidates does this make? Guess they're going for what worked for them in the primaries like in Nevada with that Sharon Angle chick...where she was the 3rd candidate on the ticket and won the nomination by default and look how looney she is! Please republicans, your ideologies, hypocritical ways, lies, fear mongoring oh ya and your pathetic "family values" are ALL just part of your rule book! oh ya, let's not forget "small government" ya right! BIG GOVERNMENT only exists on the RIGHT!
Who is John Thune? The GOP is bereft of any credible pesidential candidate with national stature or recognition. The candidates with national recognition are recycled and twice rejected.
Another pretty republican, more looks than substance. Cripes, why not just nominate a super model and be done with it. Substance obviously doesn't matter to the republicans...GW Bush and Sarah Palin are proof enough.
What "freedoms" have US citizens supposedly lost? The freedom to be ripped off by health insurers? The freedom to be ripped off by mortgage companies? The freedom to be dropped by your insurer if you get sick?
C'mon, we lost more actual freedoms and civil liberties under GW Bush – we've gained security under Obama, but I guess facts don't play well to the lemmings.
What I've heard of CPAC from recent coverage is that appears to be a warehouse for the youthful and twisted. The only thing it's gotten correct is booing Rumsfeld and Cheney.
"Since 2008 we have witnessed the largest expansion of government since 1960.".
Has he forgotten about G. W. Bush? Even conservatives have come around to the idea that G. W. betrayed all of their most sacrred ideals, including the huge growth in federal government and it's influence on ordinary citizens.
Thume is just another in a series of lunatic hypocrits. The surest way to expose the frauds is also the most risky – let them speak.
Speak John, run John.
yada, yada, every sambob and bettysue is thinking about running for president, for most to get nominated it will be a cold day in hell
Hey John; Norm Coleman called. He wants his face back.
In the meantime, do you have any actual, you know, IDEAS about how to help any Americans that aren't billionaires?
Just what we need, Bush Lite!
Another goper who thinks the Main Street voters have forgotten how hard the last two years have been regaining what was lost over the previous 8 years. After the gop ran on job creation for 2010, we the people are now seeing their words meant nothing. The focus of the gop is not about Main Street...
Not a chance. This would be the response if asked if He'd get my vote.
The biggest comedy act in the republican party next to Mittens uses his Vaudeville routine to get the morons fired up. Always leave them with their checkbooks open asking for more.
The bottom of the pack doesn't sound as crazy as the top of the GOP pack. Lord save us.