By Tessa Berenson
December 3, 2014

The Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential election are in a weird in-between spot right now, not ready to say they’re running but clearly moving closer every day.

They’re choosing to handle it in very different ways, from all-but saying they’re running to pretending that they haven’t given it much thought.

Here’s a look at what the candidates have said.

I’m Thinking About It

Ben Carson: “Maybe.” (NBC)

Bobby Jindal: “Thinking and praying” about running. (POLITICO)

I Would Be Great, Though

Chris Christie: “I am convinced that the next president of the United States is going to be a governor—and needs to be.” (National Journal)

John Kasich: “This is not just another election, another political campaign, this is a movement to restore hope in our state and maybe it can even become contagious with hope being restored all across the United States of America.” — gubernatorial victory speech (CNN)

I Haven’t Decided

Rand Paul: “He is 100 percent running for reelection to the U.S. Senate. He has not made any decision on whether he will run for national office or not.” — senior adviser Doug Stafford (POLITICO)

Scott Walker: “The closer I’ve gotten to this position, the more I’ve realized that anyone who really wants to be president has to be a little crazy … The only way you should run is if you feel called to.” (POLITICO)

I’ll Decide Soon

Jeb Bush: A decision will come “in short order, not that far out in the future… Can I do it where the sacrifice for my family is tolerable?” (POLITICO)

Marco Rubio: “That is a decision I will make in the coming weeks along with my family because it requires a whole series of things.” (Tampa Bay Times)

Rick Perry: “May or June would be my guess when I’ll made a decision on whether I’m going to go forward.” (KVUE)

Mike Huckabee: “I’ve said very clearly that it is on the table… Sometime in the spring of next year I’ll make a decision.” (Newsmax)

Paul Ryan: “If [Romney] were to run, I would not. But I don’t even know if I’m going to either myself. That’s something I’m going to decide in 2015.” (Huffington Post)

I’m Moving Forward

Rick Santorum: “I’m doing everything right now as if I’m running. So we’re moving forward and trying to line up supporters — both grassroots and donors.” (Real Clear Politics)

Ted Cruz: “At this point it’s 90/10 he’s in. And honestly, 90 is lowballing it.” — a Cruz staffer (National Journal)

Actually, I’m Not Running

Mitt Romney: “The answer is no, I’m not running for president in 2016.” (CNN)

Rob Portman: “I’m interested in staying in the Senate.” (TIME)

Write to Tessa Berenson at


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