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McGovern Says He’s Not Planning Presidential Bid

January 24, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern said Saturday he does not plan to seek his party’s 1988 presidential nomination but would consider running if it appeared the race were headed for a brokered convention.

″I can tell you flat out I don’t expect to be running for president now or in the future,″ McGovern said in an interview. ″I think the Democratic nominee will be one of the seven people who’s running right now.″

″I’ve told my family I’m not going to run,″ said the former senator from South Dakota.

McGovern was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972 and lost in a landslide election to Richard Nixon. He made an unsuccessful bid for the party’s presidential nomination in 1984.

″I’ve had thousands of people over the years urge me to do it again,″ McGovern said. ″I think that anybody in public life has to realize that there are circumstances where you would reconsider.″

McGovern said one of those circumstances would be if none of the current Democratic candidates emerged as a clear leader after Super Tuesday, March 8, when 1,307 Democratic delegates will be at stake in primaries or caucuses being held in 20 states.

″It’s possible under those conditions that I would think about it,″ McGovern said.

″Because I think it is fair to say that if there is an unexpected deadlock and it looks like we’re headed toward a brokered convention, a person who’s been the nominee is entitled to be one of the brokers,″ he said. ″I really think the rules of the party are such that the days of brokered conventions are over.″

McGovern said he expected one of current candidates to emerge from the pack soon.

″Furthermore, I think they’re pretty good,″ he said. ″They’re not well known, but they will be once the race narrows down to two or three people.″

He said he expected to support one of the Democratic candidates and would probably make up his mind after the Iowa caucuses Feb. 8 and the New Hampshire primary Feb. 16.

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