February 24th, 2008
04:55 PM ET
12 years ago

Potential V.P. picks stay mum

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, rumored to be on John McCain's shortlist for the number 2 spot, said Sunday he likes his current job.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, rumored to be on John McCain's shortlist for the number 2 spot, said Sunday he likes his current job.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican and Democratic conventions are still months away, but speculation on possible vice presidential candidates is running rampant.

The V.P. subject is just too enticing for most reporters, especially as the field continues to dwindle. But when the question is raised, potential running-mates from both parties almost always answer the same way: complete denial of any interest in the position.

Sunday was no different.

Governor Tim Pawlenty, R-Minnesota, spoke about the 2008 race with John King on CNN’s Late Edition. When asked about last week's Washington Post article that had Pawlenty on the short-list for John McCain's running-mate, the governor replied, "I don’t need a day job. I have one. I’m focused on being governor."

On Fox News Sunday, Governor Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, rejected the idea that he’s interested in Barack Obama's number two post. "I do have a very important job at hand, which is governing Virginia. I want to do everything I can to help Barack win Virginia, and I think I can do that as governor."

And Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, was even more straightforward on ABC’s “This Week.” In response to Steve Forbes' comment that she is the "frontrunner" for McCain’s V.P. pick, Hutchinson said “I think that Sen. McCain has a lot of options, I think he has to look at a lot of different factors. I don’t want to be vice president."

Perhaps the most expected V.P. dismissal came from Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, who also appeared on Late Edition. For months, rumors have surfaced of Hagel joining up with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York for a potential independent ticket. To that suggestion, he responded, “Chuck Hagel is out of the mix. I’m going to continue to focus on my job in the Senate, and do what I can to influence the direction of our country over the next year.”

- CNN's Peter Lanier

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Martin/Florida

    The clear and logical choice is John Kasich.
    He must be given strong consideration
    if McCain wants to win.
    Ohio is a must win,
    Lately going to Evangelical Church,
    Budget Whiz.
    Can hold his own in debates.

    February 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. Robin Ramkissoon

    I think McCain should choose Hillary as a running mate. He is not in any sense a conservative. His immigration plan certainly lines up with the Dems. I can tell you this, if McCain wins the nominee, the Dems will take the White House. Contrary to what the party base is saying, that conservatives are rallying, that is not true. Conservatives will be sitting this year out if McCain is the nominee

    February 24, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  3. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Pawlenty is our village idiot and we Minnesotans apologize for him on a daily basis. He's so in love with being a Republican that he refuses to raise any taxes, despite the fact that Minnesota bridges fall & roads are in terrible disrepair. Property taxes are out of control and our economy is just horrible, but he's so focused on trying to suck up to a VP position, he's letting Minnesota burn while he fiddles. But when he does want more money for something, he snakes his way around 'no new taxes' and imposes his pathetic 'fees' instead.

    February 24, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. JCruz

    McCain needs to make a wise decision and pick someone that will help him with the conservative base without scaring away his moderate supporters like me. Having said that, I will still vote for McCain over Obama or Hillary. My vote is on qualifications and experience not on Race or Gender. Go McCain.

    February 24, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. Trudi

    Governor Pawlenty is well respected in this Blue State. He is young. He comes from a Blue Collar back ground. He is moderate on some issues...conservative on others. Given McCain's age, Pawlenty's presence on the ticket would offset Obama (if he is the nominee).
    Pawlenty also has an excellent record for balancing and maintaining our state budget. He'd offer McCain the economy experience he needs.
    I cannot imagine one good reason for McCain not to pick him as his running mate.

    February 24, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Rick

    So far, all the Republicans mentioned suck as much as McCain. Prediction: McCain chooses any of those mentioned, or Charlie Crist of Florida, and he will get toasted worse than he is already going to.

    February 24, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Corey, Maryland

    Obama Richardson
    Obama Sebelius

    Both are winning tickets in my book!!

    February 24, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Vanessa

    Whoever the Democratic nominee is, the Republicans will lose. Especially McCain, the war monger.

    February 24, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. JH


    February 24, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. curtis in WI

    I still think Bill Richardson would be a superior choice. He is experienced in international affairs and energy policy. He is experienced with immigration issues and being executive of a goverment because of his time as governor of New Mexico. And he could help bring in hispanics and the west. And if tragic events make it necessary, he could step in and get up to speed pretty quick.

    February 24, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. craig

    These guy answered the question already. None of them is valuable enough to be on the ticket as V.P. ... and they know it. So does America. McCain is stuck. If he needs 6 months to introduce America to his V.P., like Pawlenty, the Dems have 6 months to tear him apart. If they are already well known, like Jeb Bush and Condi Rice, they are an identified part of the problem. With the convention over 6 months away, the odds are pretty good McCain won't even be nominated. Six months is a heck of a long time to be hanging out to dry.

    February 24, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  12. becca

    i think kaine would be a bad pick for obama – he's highly religious and i think it would be contrary to the pro-choice, pro equal-rights stance of most of the democratic party.

    February 24, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. earl illingsworth

    Obama/ Gov. Richardson, NM and McCain/Sen. Lieberman,Ct. and Clinton/Sen. Bayh,In.

    February 24, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. ED FL

    The nut house is starting to fill up, Mccain was the leader until Nader jumped in now waiting for Vice Pres. candidates to give us a few laffs until november.

    February 24, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. Peter Obama08!

    Barack Obama needs a woman V.P.!!!

    February 24, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. Andy

    No doubt Barack Obama's vp would be Gov. Kaine after watching CSPAN's televised The State Of The Black Union. It was informative and a learning experience.

    February 24, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. R

    The possible Obama VP's are doing well staying out of his Karl Rovish campaign - I rather see McCain winning and undermining the republican Party even more than having a democratic version of George Bush (Barack Obama) destroying the democrats for ever.

    February 24, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. steve

    I think McCain should pick Colin Powell, he is well respected, knowledgeable in foreign affairs and our defense.

    February 24, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  19. fair tax in la.


    February 24, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. norma stegman

    Let's see....Bill clinton almost derailed his presidency by messing with an intern; JFK spirited Marilyn Monroe in and out of the White House in the dead of night; both Bushes, in a rush of testosterone, took us to war in the middle east; Last week when I logged into the Cafferty files, who do I see, but a glowing Barack Obama surrounded by a throng of young, beautiful, blond women.

    Maybe it's time to turn the reins over to a 60 year-old woman who is no longer a slave to her hormones.

    February 24, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  21. Franz

    Barack Obama should pick Sam Nunn. He needs a Cheney who won't contradict the core rationale behind his campaign and I think Nunn is that guy.

    February 24, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  22. floydfix

    don't do rahlp
    because you cant change nothing. gas is higher and your time is better spend helping the rich,

    February 24, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  23. Belle

    It is not too early for Republican VP...however, I am so curious why CNN says Huckabee is staying in the race to prove his value as a VP candidate, and yet, Clinton...who has WAY more votes than Huckabee is not even considered.....

    February 24, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. Indiana Bob

    My guesses:

    Obama/Oprah Winfrey



    February 24, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  25. austintexasone

    Who wants to be VP of a loosing McCain!

    February 24, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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