POLITICS
01/18/2015 10:47 am ET Updated Jan 19, 2015

Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee Hint At 2016 Presidential Ambitions

Two prominent Republicans fueled speculation Sunday that they would jump into the increasingly crowded fray for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee both suggested they were considering a bid for the Oval Office.

“I’m definitely looking into it,” Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning.

Huckabee, on ABC’s "This Week," was a bit more emphatic.

“There's a very strong likelihood that some time later in the spring, which has always been my timetable, I'll make some kind of a declaration and clearly state my intentions," said Huckabee. "I'll put it that way.”

These statements, however vague, put both Graham and Huckabee in the ring with a handful of prominent Republicans who are beginning an early shuffle toward the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, including Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, and Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and the 2012 Republican nominee for the White House.

Romney suggested anew this week that he is seriously weighing a third run for president, and Republican lawmakers say he's been quietly rallying support.

“He said that he’s seriously considering it, he wanted some advice and input,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

“He does have the experience,” continued Chaffetz, who has voiced his support for the idea of a Romney 2016 campaign since last year. “I think he has been proven right on so many of the issues.”

The latest round of speculation about potential Republican nominees has been caused, in large part, by a pre-emptive signal from Bush in December that he was “actively exploring” a run at the White House. Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush, has since created a super PAC and issued a flurry of appeals to major Republican donors.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Jeb Bush is the current governor of Florida.

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