Geraldo Rivera says he won’t run for public office after teasing at plans to mount Senate bid

A celebrity journalist briefly toyed with the idea of mounting a Senate bid in Ohio — only to call the idea quits less than two days later.

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera first announced earlier this week that he was “pondering” a 2022 run for retiring Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) seat in Congress’s upper chamber, but according to the Washington Examiner, Rivera said Thursday that he’d decided against it.

No Senate run for Rivera

In a tweet posted Tuesday, Rivera declared that he “pondering running for retiring [Sen. Portman’s] seat in United States Senate,” adding the hashtag: “#GoBuckeyes”

The announcement received a fair share of both support and ridicule on social media — and, apparently, behind the scenes.

By the end of the week, in response to a post from the Cleveland radio station he hosts a program for, WTAM, Rivera gave an update from himself and his wife, Erica.

“Fox freaked out”

According to HuffPost, Rivera discussed his “whirlwind” campaign consideration during an appearance Friday on Fox & Friends, where he seemed to imply that network executives may have played a role in his decision to discard the idea.

“Well, you know what happens? You wake up, you have a dream, and the thing is you probably should keep your dream to yourself,” Rivera said of his short-lived plan, according to HuffPost.

“Instead, I started talking to Erica about it and we both got very enthusiastic,” he added, noting that he had intended to run as a moderate Republican.

“Fox freaked out, you know, said pick a lane, are you a journalist or a politician, and I wasn’t ready to, you know, jump off my current turnstile, so, instead I had to kind of embarrass myself and say never mind,” Rivera explained. “Maybe if I kept my mouth shut another six months it would have been a different story.”

Was he serious?

Of course, it was never entirely clear just how serious Rivera was about a potential Senate run in Ohio, much less if he would even have had a decent shot at winning the Republican nomination and later, the general election.

In the meantime, there will be no shortage of candidates vying for the soon-to-be-open Senate seat in the Buckeye State — and it will likely be a welcome change. According to WKBN in Ohio, “it’s been 10 years since someone other than Republican Rob Portman or Democrat Sherrod Brown has represented Ohio in the U.S. Senate.”

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