Potential presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he'll stay a Republican, perhaps ruling out a third-party bid for the White House.
Johnson, a libertarian who formed a political group that has spurred 2012 chatter, said he considers himself a member of the GOP.
"I’m a Republican and will stay a Republican," he said in a question-and-answer session with the Wall Street Journal.
Johnson launched a political group called "Our America Initiative" and has sought to travel around the country to raise money and boost his profile — two moves typical of candidates looking to launch a White House bid.
The former governor's positions, including criticism of the country's military engagements and advocacy for legalizing marijuana, have led some to speculate that if Johnson were to run, it might be as a third-party candidate, perhaps for the Libertarian Party.
Such a move wouldn't be without precedent; former GOP Rep. Bob Barr (Ga.) was the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee in 2008. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was the party's candidate for president in 1988, and Paul's insurgent Republican primary campaign in 2008 spurred some speculation that the Texas congressman might wage a third-party bid. (Paul eventually declined.)
Johnson said he didn't vote for a Republican or a Libertarian in 2008, though. He said he broke with the GOP over Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) "endless support for the war" and instead voted for Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin.