Republican Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling said Monday that he “is not going to say no” at this time to running against John Boehner for the House speakership after the 2014 midterm elections.
Hensarling, identified as the leading conservative challenger for Boehner’s job, sat for an interview with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt Monday, following Boehner’s less-than-zealous statement to the Texas Tribune that he intends to run for speaker again but can’t promise that he will finish his next term.
“Speaker Boehner announced today he’s standing for re-election as speaker,” Hewitt said to Hensarling, asking the congressman if he was surprised by Boehner’s decision.
“No, I wasn’t surprised,” Hensarling said, adding that he doesn’t find post-November leadership speculation “all that useful.”
“Would you rule out running against him if he stood for re-election?” Hewitt asked.
“Well, I’ll just give the same answer I just gave,” Hensarling replied. “If I could look you in the eye, I would tell you that I’m spending somewhere between zero and a negative number in thinking about leadership races.” (RELATED: Cantor sabotages Hensarling in quest for speakership)
“But that’s not a no,” Hewitt said.
“You can ask me in November, Hugh. I would be glad to tell you what’s on my mind after the November elections,” Hensarling vowed. “If you’re asking me to be Shermanesque, you know I’m not sure they would ever invite me to play drums with Led Zeppelin, but you know, I’m not going to say no just in case the invitation comes… I’m going to wait until after November to decide.”
Hensarling currently chairs the powerful House Financial Services Committee.