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

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

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBullock posts video of #dadjokes for Father's Day Bullock posts video of #dadjokes for Father's Day Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate 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 DainesTrump throws support behind 'no brainer' measure to ban burning of American flag Trump throws support behind 'no brainer' measure to ban burning of American flag House panel advances bill to create cybersecurity standards for government IT devices 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 MaddowHannity mocks NBC for making Maddow a debate moderator Hannity mocks NBC for making Maddow a debate moderator NBC announces five moderators for the first Democratic debate 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 HickenlooperPoll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate 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 AxneIowa Democrat calls foul on White House over Trump ethanol tour invite Iowa Democrat calls foul on White House over Trump ethanol tour invite House Democrats pull legislation that would give lawmakers raise MORE (D-Iowa), who flipped a swing district last year and had been touted as a possible challenger to Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control access face major obstacles 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 Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Democrats aim to block defense money from being used on Trump border wall 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 ClintonBroadway play 'Hillary and Clinton' closing early due to low ticket sales Broadway play 'Hillary and Clinton' closing early due to low ticket sales Facing challenge from Warren, Sanders touts strength against Trump MORE won in 2016.