Q: Would you give any consideration to running as an Independent?
Well, if I seek the Presidency, I would seek it as a Republican. Where all this
is going to go and how it ends up next year, whether that's possible for an
Independent to be elected President, maybe. Maybe it would be. But, right now,
I'd be focused on seeking the Republican nomination.
Hagel Talks Up Third-Party '08 Bid
Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is keeping his options open as he considers a run for the presidency.
As a Republican, he would be primarily interested in the GOP nomination. But if that isn't a realistic possibility, he'd be open to running on a hybrid ticket with a Democrat.
"If I decide to get into this, I would run not just to make a statement," Hagel, 60, said in a recent interview, according to USA Today.
The third-party option is known as Unity08, in which bipartisan political operatives use the Internet to craft a Republican-Democratic presidential ticket.
"I think it's a very intriguing enterprise," Hagel told USA Today, adding that he thinks most Americans are unhappy with the GOP and Democrats.
Hagel has become a critic of President Bush's foreign policy, although he voted in October 2002 for the authorization to go to war in Iraq.
Hagel says a troop surge in Iraq will result in "a vat of chaos." He also says America is letting its chance of winning over a "pro-American generation" of young Iranians slip away.
Such outspokenness has angered the administration. Vice President Dick Cheney told Newsweek magazine: "I believe firmly in Ronald Reagan's '11th Commandment': Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. But it's very hard sometimes to adhere to that where Chuck Hagel is involved."
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