Pence says he'd give 2012 White House bid consideration

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said Tuesday that he would consider a run for president in 2012 under the right circumstances.

Pence, who ruled out a bid for Senate in 2010 this morning, said he has thought about running for the GOP nomination for the presidency, though he emphasized that he's focused on Republicans' midterm elections this fall.

"Yeah, I've thought about that," Pence told a meeting of conservative bloggers at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. "Given the right circumstances, with prayer, I'd give that consideration."

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Pence initially downplayed presidential rumors, saying he hoped anyone who grew up in the U.S. would think about running for president, before conceding that he'd take a look at a presidential bid.

The Indiana congressman, who has already made trips to traditional stomping grounds for primary races, asserted that he is "completely body and soul committed" to helping Republicans win back the House in 2010 before looking at a White House run.

"We do that in 2010, everything else will take care of itself," he said.

The White House question came from a blogger who identified himself as a member of the so-called "Tea Party" movement, who praised Pence as a hero of the conservative movement, a comment which Pence said "humbled" him.

Republicans had sought to draw Pence into a race to challenge Sen. Evan Bayh (D) this fall. The conservative blogger Erick Erickson first posted to his website, RedState, this morning that Pence would not run for Senate, but leave the door open to a presidential bid.

Pence is currently the third-ranking GOP member of the House, who serves as chairman of the House Republican Conference. He credited his decision not to run to his belief that Republicans would win back the House this fall.

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