Joe Scarborough told The Hill on Friday that Republican leaders in the Senate asked him to run against Florida Democrat Bill Nelson in the 2012 elections.
Scarborough’s disclosure came after Sen. John Cornyn, who is running the Republican election effort for the chamber in 2012, issued a denial for a previous story in the Hill which reported that he was trying to court Scarborough to run.
Cornyn was quoted as saying that he had discussed a Senate bid with Scarborough in the past, and that he still considers the “Morning Joe” host to be a viable candidate.
“I’d be delighted to talk to him a third time,” Cornyn said.
But on Friday, Cornyn denied the veracity of the story. “Story is wrong,” Cornyn tweeted. The National Republican Senatorial Committee also issued a statement saying that, while Cornyn had talked with Scarborough about running for a seat in New York in 2010, the two had not discussed a Florida bid.
Scarborough, though, confirmed the report. “John suggested last month that I consider running for the Senate against Bill Nelson,” he said. “His intent was clear and unambiguous and echoed his quotes in The Hill. However, I love the job I have and have no intention of running for the Senate.”
This is not the first time a potential political comeback for Scarborough–who was a Congressman from Florida in the 1990s–has been talked about. In November, he denied rumors that he was mulling a presidential run with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And in 2009, Scarborough admitted that people had been asking him to run in 2010, telling a Florida paper that he hadn’t “closed off” the possibility.