Bullock: Running for Senate 'never really got me excited'

Bullock: Running for Senate 'never really got me excited'

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBudowsky: 3 big dangers for Democrats Biden retains large lead over Sanders, other 2020 Dems in new Hill-HarrisX poll 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests MORE (D), who officially launched his presidential campaign this week, said he was never going to run for the Senate despite the hopes of some Democratic officials who wanted him to try to unseat Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesRepublicans spend more than million at Trump properties Bullock: Running for Senate 'never really got me excited' Liberian immigrant among Dems planning challenges to GOP senator in Montana MORE (R-Mont.) in 2020.

“I was never going to run for the Senate, and I do think that I have both the skills and abilities as an executive to bridge some divides,” Bullock said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowNadler: Mueller wants to testify privately Opposition research requests for O'Rourke 'have completely died off': report Bullock: Running for Senate 'never really got me excited' MORE Show” Wednesday evening.

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“I have great respect for the senators, but this is something that never really got me excited.”

Bullock’s declining of a Senate bid marks only one in a string of recruitment struggles by Senate Democrats and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

Democrats have been unable to get their top-choice candidates to run in Senate races in Colorado, Texas and Georgia, with former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn Wright HickenlooperThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Budowsky: 3 big dangers for Democrats Biden retains large lead over Sanders, other 2020 Dems in new Hill-HarrisX poll MORE (Colo.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas) opting instead, like Bullock, to make White House bids, while former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is considering a presidential campaign of her own. 

Rep. Cindy AxneCindy AxneBullock: Running for Senate 'never really got me excited' Iowa Republican ousted in 2018 says he will run to reclaim House seat The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE (D-Iowa), who flipped a swing district last year and had been touted as a possible challenger to Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSenate defense bill would make military sexual harassment standalone crime Congress, White House near deal on spending, debt limit Trump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report MORE (R), has said she will run for reelection in the House next year. 

Democrats have reportedly continued to press Bullock to abandon his White House run and instead launch a Senate bid, saying he could make a nearly unwinnable race for a Democrat a toss-up.

“I wish he would have run for the Senate,” Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzOvernight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Democratic senators want NBC primary debate to focus on climate change Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds MORE (D-Hawaii) told Politico, adding that a Bullock bid would “change the game.”

“Sure, you’d rather have Beto [O‘Rourke] in the [Texas Senate] race. But it doesn’t go from solid red to toss-up instantly. This is the one that would change the game.”

Democrats are hoping to gain a handful of Senate seats next year to overcome Republicans’ 53-47 majority in the Upper Chamber. However, while Republicans are defending more seats than Democrats, only two GOP seats up for grabs are in states Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE won in 2016.