Rumsfeld talks 2012 GOP field
March 30th, 2011
08:43 PM ET
12 years ago

Rumsfeld talks 2012 GOP field

Washington (CNN) - Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gave his view of the 2012 presidential campaign field by saying, “I would recommend letting these people run around the track for a while, see how they do.”

In an interview that aired Wednesday on CNN’s “John King, USA” Rumsfeld wouldn’t divulge who out of the potential candidates would garner his support, but he mused about the pivotal moment in time for a presidential election.

“They’re gonna have to deal with tough issues, with surprises. It’s gonna range from economic issues to social issues to foreign policy and defense issue, and it's a tough job running for president. They're gonna have to meet new issues and tough questions,” Rumsfeld told CNN’s King.

“Oh I think its kind of an unusual opportunity we have. We have ... no sitting president in our party, no sitting vice president, and no logical candidate who’d run before, so its a fresh, clean slate,” Rumsfeld said.

During the interview, Rumsfeld touched on other issues, including the situation in Libya. He also took a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about his years as a congressman when John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson manned the White House. Rumsfeld was also White House chief of staff during part of the Ford administration and filled various roles for the Nixon administration.

Rumsfeld - who resigned from the Pentagon post the day after the 2006 midterm elections, when the Republican party lost control of Congress - published a memoir recently detailing his insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rumsfeld praised the Tea Party for “bringing more people into politics,” a sentiment he has vocalized before.

“I think it’s a healthy thing to have the Tea Party, myself,” Rumsfeld said, "I think that if you believe in democracy, having more people engaged and interested is a healthy thing.”

Filed under: 2012 • Donald Rumsfeld • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Donald Rumsfeld.........another shameful and embarassing character in republican history.

    March 30, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. once upon a horse

    I wish Mr. Rumsfeld would do like his former boss has done, and which I respect him for doing, stay OUT of the limelight and basically just keep quiet and live off the dollars you'll be earning from your book and pension. The more this guy talks the worse his reputation gets. Even CHENEY has stayed away from the mikes lately and you don't hear from his big mouth offspring Liz anymore at all. The GOP has enough right wing morons running around slamming the president on every move he makes....why have Rummy doing it too.

    March 30, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. Hotdog

    This man has no credibility as far as I am concern. It baffles me why any one would pay attention to him. He is a crook ans should be in jail.

    March 30, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. Indy

    Why would anyone interview him after all the harm he has caused, whos next Osama Bin Laden ?

    March 30, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    The TITLE seems to make you believe Rumsfeld is running for president.

    Rumsfeld almost makes sense in this article. However, if you did not see the interview live, you would wonder what he said about Libya!!

    March 30, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  6. diridi

    stop entertaining this idiot....he is the one who drained this economy....and lives...enough of this idiot...

    March 30, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. LouieD

    "...Rumsfeld wouldn’t divulge who out of the potential candidates would garner his support..."

    Translation: he knows he's as hated as Bush and Cheney, and that his endorsement of specific Republican candidates will damage their chances. Isn't that right, Rummy?

    March 30, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    Shouldn't Rumsfeld be in The Hague facing war crimes?

    March 30, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It would be nice if the tea party had shown up before hand. He just doesn't seem to understnd that the GOP didn't understand how to control spending when they were in charge.

    March 30, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  10. greyhackles

    So, Rummy didn't really talk about "the 2012 Republican presidential field" at all? Couldn't pony up the stones to say *anything* about any of the potential contenders? Does he think he's going to get a job if he doesn't step on anyone's toes??

    March 30, 2011 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  11. BeverlyNC

    Rumsfeld is a criminal who lied to us to get us into a fraudulent war in Iraq. What he says or thinks about anything is irrelevant. He should be in jail for war crimes and not commenting on anything other than apologizing to military families from his jail cell.,,,right next to Bush and Cheney's cells.

    March 31, 2011 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  12. Marry

    It shows again the state of mind with the GOP.

    “I think it’s a healthy thing to have the Tea Party, myself,” Rumsfeld said, "I think that if you believe in democracy, having more people engaged and interested is a healthy thing.”

    It is not healthy to have a “new” party that shows no respect or regards for honest participation. They are the champions of lies, distortion, manipulation, slander and demagoguery! It is a disregard of Democracy if people do not try to find consents, working for better solutions and honestly work for better conditions for all! Like we all know – typical GOP these days!

    March 31, 2011 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  13. sara

    Why do CNN contine to drag these "old worn out ineffective" politicians and now pundits out of dust? They're the reason why this country is so screwed up. Their stupid policies are the reason. The policies obviously haven't work! Look around you! Are they working? Unravel all the mess will take Decades and they will try and block the reversal with their wealthy buddies.

    March 31, 2011 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  14. Chris

    Looking at all the Republicans considering running for President reminds me of the clown car at the circus. This tiny little car, that should only hold one or two people, drives up, and out pours a long stream of clowns, each more ridiculous than the last.

    March 31, 2011 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  15. jules sand-perkins

    It's good to see some wisdom coming from a Republican about 2012.
    Surely Obama realizes that he doesn't have this election in the bag yet. I support him, but he is human and keeps making mistakes, the worst of which (to me) is being such a slick politician that he can speak with a forked tongue in Which the split is hard to see.
    I remain a Republican deep down, but this bunch of potential presidents has to offer something better than BBC (Biblical Bigotry and Creationism) to get my vote.
    I'm sure to vote for Obama again before I vote for an Obese Bubba or a Creationist Baptist Preacher–or a pretty, primitively evolved, and poorly educated loser from the Pageant.
    Mr. President, please stop being a chameleon that wants to be a flag.

    March 31, 2011 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  16. Kent

    Why do we listen to this idiot?

    March 31, 2011 07:36 am at 7:36 am |