Joe Scarborough Pulls Hat Out of Ring

Image: Joe Scarborough Pulls Hat Out of Ring

Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 05:15 PM

By Cathy Burke

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MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough insists he's not running for president.

"I'm not running, and I'm not considering running," Scarborough told The New York Times.

"I'm not making any Shermanesque statements, but I do not expect that to change."

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The declaration should put a damper on speculation about the former GOP lawmaker's White House bid, fueled by his weekend trip to New Hampshire,  his new book, "The Right Path," and his own broad hints.

"I won't rule anything out," Scarborough told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt last month. "I've always said I wanted to get back in. It's just a matter of timing, and we'll see when it happens."

The recent chatter intensified with an article in The Atlantic entitled "Joe Scarborough for President? Sure, Why Not?"

But Scarborough insists his only campaign is "to make the Republican Party mainstream again" – the theme of his new book.

"I'm not Sarah Palin, and I'm not Donald Trump," he told The Times, referring to two people who hinted at running in 2012 but eventually decided against. "I don't need to stir the speculation. I have more influence sitting at the table where I'm sitting, and enjoy a much better lifestyle than I ever would getting back into public office."

Former GOP House Speaker and CNN host Newt Gingrich said the presidential drumbeat can be a good thing even if you never set foot on the campaign trail.

"He's certainly serious about letting you talk about him," Gingrich told The Times. "It makes him bigger, not smaller; it gives him a chance to say what he believes. It doesn't cost him anything, and as long as he's careful about his MSNBC contract, he can have fun."

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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