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Rice: No interest in McCain ticket

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Grover Norquist says Condoleezza Rice would make a great vice president
  • Rice says she plans on returning to Stanford University
  • Rice served as provost at Stanford from 1993 to 1999, remains a tenured professor
  • "I very much look forward to watching this campaign and voting as a voter," she says
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By Alexander Mooney
CNN
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed rumors Tuesday that she is angling to be Sen. John McCain's running mate, instead telling reporters she plans to head back to Stanford University.

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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ruled out a McCain-Rice ticket on Tuesday.

"I very much look forward to watching this campaign and voting as a voter," she said. "I have a lot of work to do and then I'll happily go back to Stanford."

Rice served as provost at Stanford from 1993-1999, and remains a tenured professor there.

"Senator McCain is an extraordinary American," Rice also said of the party's presumptive nominee. "A really outstanding leader and obviously a great patriot." Video Watch Jack Cafferty weigh in on a Rice run »

Her comments come after Dan Senor, a leading Republican strategist, suggested on ABC Sunday that Rice is mounting a behind-the-scenes campaign to be McCain's No. 2

"Condi Rice has been actively, actually in recent weeks, campaigning for this," Senor, a former Bush administration official said.

On Tuesday, Grover Norquist -- conservative activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform -- lent his support to Rice as a vice presidential candidate, according to WashingtonPost.com's Mary Ann Akers.

"If her goal was to convince everyone she would be a good president and, therefore, a good vice president -- she hit it out of the ballpark," Norquist told Akers in "The Sleuth" online column.

In the column Norquist also said Rice "would be a great president. ... [a] great vice president."

McCain, meanwhile, said Sunday he had "missed those signals."

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack also denied Monday that Rice was interested in the job.Video Watch more of McCormack's comments »

Rice has publicly said in the past she has no interest in running for the job, adding that she "didn't even run for high school president. It's not in my genes."Video Watch Jack Cafferty weigh in on a Rice run »

CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider says it would be a "very difficult move" for McCain to make because it "instantly fulfills exactly the argument that Democrats are presenting ... what you're going to get is a third term of George W. Bush."Video Watch more of Bill Schneider's analysis »

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McCain also acknowledged that he had narrowed down his potential list of running mates to 20 names. Interactive: See who McCain may be considering »

The Arizona Republican wouldn't hint at who was on the list but said he wanted the process wrapped up by the party's convention in September. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.

All About Condoleezza RiceJohn McCainU.S. Presidential Election

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