WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday he is moving toward a possible 2008 presidential run by "doing things organizationally and legally" but will not make a final decision until early next year.
McCain, considered the front-runner for his party's presidential nomination, said he could launch an exploratory committee as early as this week.
"Are we doing the things organizationally and legally that need to be done? Yes," he said. "There are certain things legally you have to comply with in order to continue to raise money and set up an organization."
"The important thing is we will not make a decision until I sit down with my family, but we will be prepared," McCain said.
Republican officials last week said McCain would set up an exploratory committee and has opened a bank account for the committee. Establishing an exploratory committee allows a potential candidate to raise money for a White House run and travel the country.
On Sunday, McCain characterized the moves as preliminary until he decides about a possible bid. He unsuccessfully sought his party's nomination for president in 2000.
If McCain were to run, he would turn 72 on Aug. 29, 2008, at the height of the campaign. Only Ronald Reagan was older — 73 at the start of his second term. McCain's health also could be an issue because he has had several cancerous lesions removed from his skin.
McCain spoke on "Meet the Press" on NBC.