ABC News’ Mark Halperin Reports: Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) does not intend to run for president in 2008 and issued a paper statement from his office this morning.
In his statement Frist said:
“Twelve years ago, I pledged to the people of Tennessee that I would serve two terms in the Senate – to serve as a true citizen legislator – and then return home. I said I’d come to the Senate with 20 years experience in healing, spend 12 years serving in Washington, then go right back to Tennessee to live where I grew up. I’ve never deviated from that commitment. And I will do just that.
“In the Bible, God tells us for everything there is a season, and for me, for now, this season of being an elected official has come to a close. I do not intend to run for president in 2008.
“Karyn and I will take a sabbatical from public life. At this point a return to private life will allow me to return to my professional roots as a healer and to refocus my creative energies on innovative solutions to seemingly insurmountable challenges Americans face.
Sources close to Frist say he does not expect to do anything on camera till next week.
The most significant fallout may be now-available GOP money in Tennessee — where there is lots of it — for other GOP presidential hopefuls.