In a statement today after former Gov. Mike Rounds declared his candidacy for Sen. Tim Johnson’s Senate seat, Johnson welcomed Rounds, used him as a wedge against congressional Republicans in fiscal cliff negotiations, and hinted he might surprise people and run again.
It’s a very interesting statement. Take a look. Johnson:
I consider Mike a friend, and I welcome him to the race. I had an excellent working relationship with him during his eight years as Governor, and the fact that he has already re-stated his refusal to take the Grover Norquist “no tax increases under any circumstances” pledge is a very good sign.
Our country faces a real fiscal dilemma, and tax increases on the wealthy absolutely have to be a part of the solution. While I’m sure that Mike and I will have some policy disagreements–which is to be expected–I am more than willing to give credit where it is due. And the fact that Mike realizes that it is irresponsible to take tax increases off the negotiating table is absolutely to his credit.
As in past campaigns, I will make my formal announcement later next year. But I feel great, still have work to do, and I fully intend to put together a winning campaign in the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime, I intend to continue to focus on my important work representing South Dakota.