A report over the weekend that Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn might launch a 2016 Republican presidential bid spurred a non-denial denial from her campaign staff, reports The Tennessean, though she appeared to be more explicit during a visit to New Hampshire.
The website RealClearPolitics.com, quoting an unnamed Blackburn aide, said the Brentwood Republican was considering a presidential candidacy and had gone to New Hampshire to “test the waters.”
“If there’s a door to kick down, she’s willing to kick it down,” the aide reportedly told the website.
Blackburn appeared at a New Hampshire Republican rally hosted by the groups Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity. The latter is associated with oil billionaires Charles and David Koch.
According to another website, BusinessInsider.com, Blackburn denied the report while she was in the Granite State.
“Not at all. No. No. I am running for re-election in Tennessee,” she told the site.
Asked if there was anything that could change her stance, she said: “Probably not. Goodness, no.”
In advance of the New Hampshire appearance, Blackburn campaign spokesperson Darcy Anderson said in a statement that Blackburn wasn’t going there to “test anything,” but added: “We don’t need any tests to tell us that the country is not on the right path.”
Anderson said Blackburn went to New Hampshire to “talk about freedom, liberty, Gibson guitars and keeping the government out of our wallets and emails.”
Republican strategist John Weaver, who worked in Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 race, said of Blackburn: “New Hampshire is the place people usually go to deny that they are running.”