(CNN) - Gov. Brian Schweitzer, D-Montana, skirted around speculation he might throw his 10-gallon hat in the campaign ring for a 2016 White House bid, but gave a playful nod Sunday to voters in the early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
"It's way too early to talk about 2016," he told a political panel on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley." "I'm the governor of Montana until January. At that point, I'll no longer have the governor's mansion. I'll no longer have a driver. I won't have security so I'll have a little more time on my hands. I think I did mention that I have a warm regard for people of Iowa and New Hampshire."
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Crowley replied, "Which we would all like to say is not a no."
Schweitzer smiled and the panel laughed but the outspoken, two-term governor insisted no one outside of the Beltway is talking about 2016.
"The rest of this country, they're trying to create jobs; they're trying to get their kids off to school; they're trying to make their payments on their house or their car," he said. "Washington, D.C. 2016: completely out of touch."
Just as then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's 2004 convention speech stoked presidential speculation, Schweitzer's 2008 convention address sparked questions of the governor’s aspirations for national office.
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.