Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a potential dark horse 2012 presidential candidate, said Tuesday he does not yet know when he will decide whether or not to enter the race.

Speaking to a reporter after an event with Arkansas Senate candidate Rep. John Boozman (R), Thune was asked about his presidential ambitions.

"Well, right now, my focus is the mid-term elections and trying to get quality people like John Boozman elected," he said. "I think the best thing that we can do right now, the best thing that anybody — anybody including [those] who might have aspirations beyond the 2010 elections — needs to be very focused on doing everything that we can to restore some checks and balances in Washington ... And then there will be a time for consideration of things beyond that."

Pressed about his timetable, Thune said "Well, I just haven't — I don't have a timetable. My timetable right now is [turning to Boozman seated next to him] — is it November 2?"

With no clear front-runner in the race and the presidential election far away, a number of national political figures have emerged as potential nominees.

Thune earned headlines in 2004 when he defeated former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). Even though he is up for reelection this year, Thune does not face a Democratic challenger. 

He also received a boost from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week, who named Thune as a potential candidate he likes as "someone out of the blue" in 2012. 


h/t GOP12