Presidential Checklist: Jockeying for Position
Here’s a look at the who, what, when and where of the 2016 presidential contest at the cusp of summer. Why? Because more is going on than you might think two years from the event.
To those who might run, 2016 is the day after tomorrow and there’s no time to waste.
For almost a year, The Associated Press has been tracking movements and machinations of more than a dozen prospective presidential candidates.
They are, for the Democrats, Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo; for the Republicans, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Latest twists and turns:
NONDENIAL DENIAL: Cagey words that cloak presidential ambitions, none too convincingly.
Biden: "If I decide to run, believe me, this would be the first guy I talk to. But that decision hasn’t been made, for real. And there’s plenty of time to make that."- April, CBS, in joint interview with President Barack Obama.
Clinton: "I just want to get through this year, travel around the country, sign books, help in the midterm elections in the fall and then take a deep breath and kind of go through my pluses and minuses." - June, ABC.
Cuomo: "I’m sorry, I’m losing you. We have a technical difficulty. I’m running for governor of the state of New York." - Seeming not to hear a question about his presidential intentions. February, Fox Business Network.
O’Malley: "No one ever goes down this road, I would hope, without giving it a lot of consideration and a lot of preparation and a lot of thought work, and so that’s what I’m doing." - February, speaking to reporters in Baltimore.
Bush: "I can honestly tell you that I don’t know what I’m going to do." - His standard disclaimer. Says he’ll decide by year’s end whether to run. One factor in his decision: Whether he can run an optimistic campaign and avoid the "mud fight" of politics.
Christie: "Yes, and later." - May, asked if he’s thinking about running for president and when he’ll decide, at a fiscal conference in Washington.
Cruz: "My focus is entirely on working for Texans in the U.S. Senate." - February. He said that not in Texas or in the Senate but in the important presidential primary state of South Carolina.
Jindal: "It’s something that we’re certainly thinking about and we’re praying about. My wife and I, we won’t make any decisions until after the November elections." - May, after addressing Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
Paul: "We’re definitely talking about it, my family is talking about it. I truly won’t make my mind up until after the 2014 elections. But I haven’t been shy in saying we’re thinking about it." - March 9, Fox News.
Perry: "I’d be fibbing to you if I told you I knew what I’m going to be doing."- May, in Iowa. Says he’ll decide in January.
Rubio: "It’s something I’ll consider at the end of this year." - May, on ABC. Does he feel ready to be president? "I do, but I think we have other people as well."
Ryan: "Janna and I are going to sit down in 2015 and give it the serious ... conversation, consideration that are required for keeping our options open. But right now I have responsibilities in the majority in the House of Representatives that I feel I ought to attend to, and then I’ll worry about those things."- March, CBS.
Santorum: "I don’t know if I can do this. It’s just tough." - April, AP interview. Timing of decision? "A year at least, probably."
Walker: "I’m really focused on 2014, not getting ahead of the game. ... You guys can predict all you want." - January, CNN.