Former press secretary avoids predicting GOP race

June 14, 2011 - 7:58 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says it's "too early to tell" which Republican might pose the toughest challenge to President Barack Obama's re-election.

Gibbs, who left the White House earlier this year, described the candidate-selection procedure as "a long process," noting that the first voter preference tests are still months away.

Gibbs had gone to New Hampshire to argue Obama's case as seven GOP White House hopefuls took part in the first full-scale debate of the current election cycle.

When asked directly on CBS's "The Early Show" which candidate might be the most formidable for Obama, Gibbs replied, "It will be several months before we learn who that person is likely to be."