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February 22, 2011 06:00 PM

McGovern Understands Sen. Thune's Choice


George McGovern is the closest any South Dakotan has gotten to being called the President of the United States.

A U.S. senator at the time, McGovern won the democratic nomination in the 1972 election, but ultimately lost to President Nixon.

As a former senator who once had the U.S. presidency within reach, former U.S. Senator George McGovern knows all too well how hard it is to make a decision to run for the highest office.

"I would never criticize any other senator who tries it," McGovern said.

That includes Senator John Thune. But, while he wouldn't criticize Thune had he decided differently, McGovern says he believes the Senator made the right call.

"He's only been in the senate a short time. This country is faced with a maze of complicated national and international problems. I think he'll be better suited down the road," McGovern said.

McGovern believes Thune could benefit from more time in Congress, saying he'll be a wiser person in terms of the problems facing the country. He says Thune will continue to learn, grow and become more well known. Though McGovern believes these are things Thune already knows.

"He has not jumped into this matter carelessly. He's been careful. I think that's the proper thing for him to do," McGovern said.

McGovern wishes Thune well in the Senate, saying he knows he'll do well there. But, he stops short of saying whether he thinks Thune should run for president in the future, because, again, he knows how big of a decision that is.
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