Snyder to decide on presidential run in next few months

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday he plans to decide whether to run for president "in the next couple of months or so."

Snyder is in California to speak at a conference about Detroit's turnaround and emergence from bankruptcy and gave a round of cable news interviews.

"Things are moving fairly quickly, but anywhere in the next couple of months or so," Snyder told Bloomberg News about a decision on a presidential run, his most concrete timetable to date.

Asked if the odds of him running for president are better than 50 percent, he declined to "speculate" and refused to directly answer if he is interested in being vice president.

"It's something I'm looking at," Snyder said in what appears to be the first time he has formally acnowledged an interest in running for president.

He refused to take any swipes at rival GOP candidates or Democrats. He said factors to help him decide to run for president include "family issues, everything else and the other one is to see who else is running."

Snyder is speaking at the Milken Institute global conference Monday on his experience of taking Detroit through bankruptcy reorganization.

"I've been wanting to tell the Michigan story for a year or so and now I'm starting to tell it," Snyder said Saturday.

Supporters of Snyder recently created a private fund to pay for his stepped-up, out-of-state travel, which some Michigan Republicans see as a move toward joining the crowded field of GOP contenders.

On Saturday, Snyder called published reports that he told former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman he's decided to make a presidential bid a "lot of speculation."

But the second-term Republican governor has refused for months to shoot down talk that he may launch a campaign for the White House. Last week, he met with influential Republicans in Las Vegas at a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting, including billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a GOP mega donor and RJC board member.

Coleman, who also is a member of the RJC's board of directors, made headlines Saturday when he told reporters in Las Vegas that Snyder plans to jump into the GOP presidential primary race.

"I met with Rick Snyder yesterday. He's running. He's running," Coleman told reporters, according to the Daily Caller and the Guardian.

Late Sunday, Coleman stood by his remarks.

"I noted that the field of potential Republican presidential candidates was far from complete and made specific mention of Gov. Snyder, who has an impressive record of accomplishment," Coleman said in an email to The Detroit News. "It was my clear impression, from my conversation with him, that he is running. However, I will leave it up to Gov. Snyder to confirm whether or not he is officially a candidate."

Coleman plans to support South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, should Graham formally enter the field of Republican presidential candidates.