- Associated Press - Saturday, August 9, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - For a year, The Associated Press has tracked the movements and machinations of more than a dozen prospective presidential candidates. The latest presidential prep checklist:

NONDENIAL DENIAL: Cagey words that cloak presidential ambitions, none too convincingly.


Vice President Joe 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.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham 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. Said Republican criticism of her handling of the 2012 attacks on U.S. posts in Benghazi, Libya, gives her “more of a reason to run.”

New York Gov. Andrew 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.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley: “It’s something that I’m seriously considering.” - July, Radio Iowa.


Former Florida Gov. Jeb 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 is whether he can run an optimistic campaign and avoid the “mud fight” of politics.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s chairman of the Republican Governors Association: “I’m not gearing up to run up for president. I’m gearing up to win as many governors’ races as I can this November and then we’ll make decisions about running for president after that.” - July, AP.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: “My focus is entirely on working for Texans in the U.S. Senate.” - Standard disclaimer, spoken here not in Texas or the Senate but in the important presidential primary state of South Carolina.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby 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.

Kentucky Sen. Rand 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, Fox News.

Texas Gov. Rick 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.

Florida Sen. Marco 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.”

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