For the second time this year, Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., denied a report that he had removed himself from Senate contention. "Representative Paulsen ... has not ruled anything out related to 2014," campaign manager John-Paul Yates said in a statement on Wednesday.
The story originated with a tweet from University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs, whose policy fellows program met with Paulsen Wednesday. Jacobs said in a phone interview that he broached the subject with Paulsen as his group was filing into the room. "I asked him, 'Are you going to be running against (Sen. Al) Franken?'" Jacobs said. "He kind of shrugged and grinned and said, 'No, I'm happy where I am. I've got a great thing going.'"
Jacobs said later in the meeting, speaking to the group at large, Paulsen listed deterring factors to a bid, such as strong libertarian elements in the state's GOP that would make even a primary difficult. He also mentioned Republicans' dry spell in recent years at winning statewide elections. Paulsen didn't specifically say those obstacles caused him not to enter the election, but Jacobs said he "put those things together."
Earlier this year, Paulsen said his words were taken out of context when he called a Senate run "ridiculous."