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The News Tip: Don't Ask Them If They're Running

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As the field of Republican presidential candidates jostle against each other in straw polls and debates, there are rumors that the field is not done growing. This past week, the Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, was in the spotlight. Headlines were written about his potential to run for the highest office in the land, but in the end, he left things more than ambiguous.

NPR's media correspondent, David Folkenflik, has this advice for journalists: Don't ask political figures if they're running for president.

"It's a fair question to ask, but you're not going to get an answer," he tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Audie Cornish. "These guys choreograph these things well in advance."

Moreover, Folkenflik says, spending time on the candidate's intentions to run can take away from discussion about where the nation's headed. Journalists can appear tough by pressing their interviewees, "but it's not about something substantive."

There's more going on in politics and policy than "the next White House win," he says.

Can you point out an example within the last generation where a major candidate made an unplanned announcement to run for president? Share it with us on Facebook.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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