Thune Acknowledges Presidential Ambitions

Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:19pm

Sen. John Thune acknowledged during a brief interview Wednesday that he is considering running for president in 2012 but said he would wait until after Nov. 2 to begin exploring his viability as a candidate.

The South Dakota Republican is among several prospective Republican presidential candidates. And, an extended profile in the Oct. 4 issue of the Weekly Standard suggested that Thune is thinking about a possible bid. Without disputing any of this, Thune emphasized that he has done little more than to discuss the matter with his family and listen to Republicans who are encouraging him to run.

“I think it’s fair to say I’ve been giving it some thought and some consideration, but really postponing any active consideration or discussion of it until after the midterms,” said Thune, the fourth-ranking Senate Republican and chairman of the GOP Policy Committee.

“I think the midterm elections are what everybody’s focused on,” Thune continued. “I’m working as hard as I can to try and elect more Republicans to the House and the Senate, thinking that that’s the best way — at least right now — [that] we can change the direction of the country. And, then I think those discussions probably begin a little bit more in earnest; and if somebody was interested in moving in that direction you’d have to begin accelerating that thought process.”

In 2004, Thune defeated then-Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). Many called him the “giant killer” for taking out the Democratic leader.

Thune is running for re-election this year, but he faces no opposition.

The race for the GOP presidential nomination will develop after Nov. 2, and Thune said that afterward he will decide whether to run.

“I’ve received encouragement in South Dakota and from other places around the country and from some of my colleagues to take a look it. So, in taking a look at it, obviously you think about it, you talk about it a little bit with your family and you figure out what it might take. But that’s a long ways a way from making any decisions about it,” Thune said. “But I think you obviously want to be attentive to, and listen to, people who have suggestions and want to encourage you to take a look at opportunities like that.”