Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who sought the GOP nomination in 1996 and 2000, named former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) and former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) as three candidates with "strong prospects" for the campaign.
"If you think about it, in the end, we have this great, big complex country of ours — more than 300 million people — and on the Republican side, we'll probably only end up with two or three people who people take seriously as competent to be the next president and likely to do that," Alexander said in an episode of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program, set to air over this weekend.
The Tennessee Republican, who serves as chairman of the Senate GOP conference, acknowledged dining recently with Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, who met with a group of GOP senators this week.