A spokeswoman for the Democratic governor said Patrick joked after a "generous" introduction from a University of Massachusetts dean at the Performance Management Conference, saying that the kind words had made it easier for him to run for a third term, and Twitter soon filled with reports that the governor was running again when his term expires in January 2015, the Boston Herald reported Thursday.
The Twitter accounts spreading the news included New England Cable News, a Boston Globe reporter and Washington reporters.
Patrick's office also received a deluge of phone calls following the comment.
"Complete chaos just erupted in our office -- no I don't know what he said but whatever it was it was a joke!!" tweeted Patrick aide Bonnie McGilpin.
"I wasn't even out the door and somebody told me that Twitter was lighting up," Patrick said.
Patrick said he plans to stick to his promise to his wife, Diane, to serve only two terms as governor.