Thune puts damper on VP speculation
April 26th, 2012
10:01 AM ET
11 years ago

Thune puts damper on VP speculation

Washington (CNN) – He's not saying yes, but he's also not saying no. Sen. John Thune, the number three Republican in the Senate, said Thursday he doesn't expect to be chosen as Mitt Romney's running mate.

Speaking before a meeting of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Thune was asked whether or not he would run alongside Romney in his bid for the White House.

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"I don't expect to be there, but I do expect to be in the Senate, hopefully working with a new president to take on big issues because in order to solve big problems, you gotta have presidential leadership," Thune said. "I always tell people that, you know, we have 535 members of Congress, there's only one president. There's only one person who can sign a bill into law. There's only person who has the capacity to lead the country, to engage with the Congress on solutions to the big issues."

Ever since Thune backed Romney in November 2011, his name has been mentioned as a potential No. 2 for the former Massachusetts governor. He backed Romney at a time when seven other candidates were still in the race, and voters were still deciding in key early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

Thune, who represents South Dakota, would provide geographic balance on a potential Republican ticket, though he would not offer a large degree of ideological disparity with the likely GOP nominee.

In his speech Thursday, Thune hit on many of the same topics Romney addresses in his campaign speeches: President Barack Obama's economic record, American-produced energy and reining in federal spending.

Thune said he was confident Romney would be elected, but that the race would be close.

"I think this is gonna be a great campaign and probably a very close election," Thune said.

He added, "I do believe that Gov. Romney will be the next president and the reason I say that is I just think that people in this country when they are concerned about their economic futures, there's a lot of anxiety about just pocketbook, bread and butter, kitchen table issues, are gonna be looking for a different direction."

Thune decided against making his own presidential bid in February 2011, but is considered a GOP hero for toppling incumbent Democrat Tom Daschle in 2004. He chairs the Senate Republican Conference, which controls the party's message in the Senate, and is often mentioned as a presidential contender down the road.

Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • John Thune • Mitt Romney
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    Romney needs to select someone that will not "overshadow" him. Therefore, he should pick Herman Cain!!! Oh, wait, Herman Cain would overshadow him too. Hmm, tough!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    April 26, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. Bill

    No one wants to run with Mittens. As stated before, anybody that hopes to have a political future is staying as far away from the impending thrashing as they can. Being on a losing presidential ticket does not help your resume.

    April 26, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. NVa Native

    Just as only the whackos of the GOP came out for their Presidential primaries only the whackos will come out for their VP roulette.
    The only thing for sure is that seeing all the GOPits back away from standing beside RoMoney will be entertaining too.

    April 26, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. brian in denver

    I nominate Donald Trump to be Romney's running mate.

    April 26, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. s

    Another waste of life

    April 26, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "He's not saying yes, but he's also not saying no."

    Geesh. Who'd have thought Mitts "Flip Flop" disease would go so viral so fast...

    Might just as well add Thune to the list of other "gotta a bad case of Mitt Romney disease" GOPers.

    April 26, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. anagram_kid

    “…I say that is I just think that people in this country when they are concerned about their economic futures, there's a lot of anxiety about just pocketbook, bread and butter, kitchen table issues, are gonna be looking for a different direction."
    Does he mean the direction that caused the economic crash under President Bush? Why would any rational person want to go a direction they know will lead to failure? Oh, that’s right, the good disciples of the GOP/TP would rather be broke and unemployed than have their egos bruised with another four years of prosperity under President Obama.
    Obama 2012

    April 26, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    He's not saying yes, but he's also not saying no.
    I believe that we will see a shift in the way GOTeatards are responding to the possibility of being the #2 spot on The Changeling's ticket. I do believe that the puppet masters (Kock brothers, Rove, Norquist et al) have issued a Memo strongly advising GOTeatards to "tone down" the "not me" responses. It didn't take them long to realize how bad it is making the presumptive nominee look to have EVERYONE that even remotely thinks they mihgt be offered the #2 spot respond with something remarkably akin to a "Hell No!".
    Just saying.

    April 26, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Hongli

    John Thune is the smartest Repug around -- Why ? -- why waste time and effort when the repugs will be a close second in a two-horse race. The Republicans must pay for all they have done negatively to this President.

    April 26, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    Marco Rubio, Thune, are these idiots VP? I laughed, my stomach hurts.....nonsense idiots of GOP. Republican party is a cult...

    April 26, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Gary Owen 2/7

    As a resident of the state of South Dakota, I can assure you that Thune is a moron. South Dakota has been dominated by the Red Neck Right since Christ was a corporal has amassed the great distinction of having the poorest county in the nation. That's the kind of leadership we can expect from the Red Neck Right. It's the same as it was 2001 – 2008, a disaster.

    April 26, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think Mittens is leaning toward the Florida anchor baby today, so Thune may have to wait until tomorrow when Mittens changes his mind again.

    April 26, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Who will the personhood candidate pick to run with him? He has an anchor baby, an invasive procedure guy, several Bush economic advisors, several Bush Doctrine advisors, birthers, baggers, bigots, billionaires all to choose from.

    April 26, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    I'll bet anyone $10,000 that Sarah Palin would agree to VP, despite all of her anti-Romney rhetoric.

    April 26, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. B

    Nobody wants to be on the same ticket with Romey. What is the problem?

    April 26, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Thomas

    Mitt Romney / Tareq Salahi

    Imagine Donald Trump as Secretary of State , Imagine Ann Coulter as Attorney General , Imagine Mitt Romneys five sons as joint chefs of staff !

    AMERICA , Bold and the Beautiful 2012 !

    April 26, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |

    Thune is always pictured alongside his onstructionists, GOBP fascists colleagues such as McConnell & Sessions. He'll bring Willard's poll numbers down if he gets selected. Americans are pissed off with Congress. Specifically republicans in Congress.

    April 26, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Pander Bear

    My God! A Romney / Thune ticket would create a vortex of tedium so strong it could destroy the world! Maybe the Mayans were right!

    April 26, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. Pete

    He'll say no,just like the previous ,what 14-15 vp nominees that have graced our media viewers in recent weeks.Romney ,like I said before is the leper of the republican regime and everyone's knows it.Thune will graciously but out of this republican nitemare,a true clown circus gone amuck.

    April 26, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |