New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is expected to formally file papers to form a presidential exploratory committee in January.
But on Thursday he told FOX News "I am running," as he described the professional and personal experiences that he believes have prepared him for the job.
"I've dealt with the issues that are very important today — national security, immigration and energy," Richardson said in an interview with FOX News' Carl Cameron.
Richardson was secretary of energy and later U.N. ambassador during the Clinton administration. In addition to his diplomatic experience, Richardson believes that his Hispanic heritage will be an advantage in his campaign for the presidency.
"I am Hispanic, which I believe is an asset," Richardson said. "But I'm not running as an Hispanic, I am running as an American who is proud to be Hispanic."
Richardson plans to travel to New Hampshire, the first of the nation's states to hold a primary, the weekend after next.
In the most recent FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll asking whom voters would select if the primary were held today, Richardson tied for last out of pool of 10 potential Democratic candidates with just 1 percent saying they would pick him. Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., topped the list with 33 and 12 percents, respectively.
Despite Richardson's taped announcement, his office released a statement saying the announcement of he candidacy was premature and that he would "make a final decision in January."
"Other comments from the interview were taken out of context based on a hypothetical question that FOX News posed about the Governor's strengths should he run for president," Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for the governor, said in the statement.
Richardson was scheduled to appear on "FOX & Friends" Friday morning, but canceled his appearance late Thursday night.
FOX News' Carl Cameron contributed to this report