Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that his state party's vote this past weekend to censure him for being insufficiently conservative might make him more likely to seek another term in 2016.
"If there’s such a thing as motivation to more seriously consider it, it’s what just happened,” McCain told the AP.
McCain added that the censure vote "shows that, again, a very extremist element of the party has taken over the party apparatus."
The five-term Arizona senator, who will turn 80 in 2016, has made little secret that he's looking hard at running again in 2016. If he does run, though, tea party groups are likely to push for a primary challenger.
McCain easily dispatched former congressman J.D. Hayworth in a 2010 primary, beating him by 24 points.
McCain got a boost late Monday when his former vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, wrote a Facebook post defending McCain as a friend and an American hero -- even as she distanced herself from his policies on issues like illegal immigration. Palin is popular with the tea party, and her allies have clashed with McCain's since their loss in 2008.
"...At this time, it's perplexing to see Senator McCain’s good efforts to uncover the Obama agenda being ignored and perhaps even hindered now by those wanting to censure the Arizona senator," Palin wrote.