(CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is still sidestepping questions about his White House ambitions – feeding speculation that has surged in the wake of his decision not to seek a third gubernatorial term next year.
"Well, I've got a year and a half left to be a governor of the state of Minnesota and that's going to be the focus of my attention," he told CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room Thursday after being asked whether he was planning a presidential run.
"But I am in Minnesota and elsewhere going to try to speak to how my party can do a better job. Obviously we got our tails kicked in the last two elections, Wolf, we need to do a better job. I think I've got some ideas to share but that's really going to be focused on how we can do better in 2010, I'm not thinking beyond that."
Pawlenty, who will take the center stage with party leaders this week at the Republican National Committee Summer Meeting, has taken on a progressively higher profile over the past few months.
The Minnesota governor, named vice chair of the Republican Governors Association this summer in the wake of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's resignation of the top spot, has emerged as a major critic of the president's health care reform plan, blasting it this week in a letter to Minnesota's congressional delegation.
Earlier this week, he raised eyebrows when he also took a swipe at the health care plan Massachusetts launched under then-Gov. Mitt Romney, a potential 2012 presidential rival.
Watch Tim Pawlenty on the Situation Room today at 4 p.m. ET.
He's foolin absolutely nobody, he still wont win the WH tho so its all good...
He doesn't stand a chance in 2012. I'm still upset with him for letting the election between Sen. Franken and Coleman drag out so long when he could've just signed the certificate. I think that was bad leadership for leaving the people of Minnesota with only 1 U.S. senator for 9 months.
The GOP is really in a disarray. They keep going through governors they call a 'rising GOP star' who are unaccomplished, have no plans or ideas, and are just parroting Rush Limbaugh. Palin, Jindal, Romney, Barbour, Perry, Sanford... At the rate they're going they might as well start lobbying for a change in the Constitution of the United States so that they can nominate Schwarzenegger!
Go ahead and run Pawlenty. I'd love to see President Obama reelected by 80% of the popular vote.
The GOP already blew their chances for 2012. They've pushed the idea of Palin too far, and now that she is a failed governor they are scraping the bottom of the barrel for possible candidates. Their great hopes in Jindal proved to be embarrassing. They tried to push Gingrich that was a laughing stock, and all Cheney ever does is remind people of the disaster Bush and his republicans did. At this point nothing short of impeachment will get rid of Obama in 2012.
the Gov isn't an economic genius in my opinion........he opposed a gas tax a majority of Minnesotans polled supported to fund road & bridge repair months before the I35W Bridge collapsed; I wouldn't trust his take on health insurance either. The national media needs to scrutinize his solution to eliminate the Minnesota deficit. He know how to talk the GOP talking points.
Right now they need to focus away from them so they can come out smelling like fresh roses and hit us again with their stupid stance on everything they stood for when their leaders were in power Bush 1 Bush 2 and coming soon Bush 3...Lets just be ready America don't get fooled again.123 were done!
I love the Situation Room, but I will not be watching tonight. I sick of hearing from the party of hate.
he'd be a great president. unlike Obama he shows concern for deficits and the growth of government.
The Republicans have a lot of good candidates for 2012. The Democrats only have the loser Barrack Obama. In 2013 a Republican will be sworn in as our next President. 100% GUARANTEED.
I'd expect him to be close-mouthed. this isn't news.
After the Coleman – Franken mess, if he cannot handle that, he has no business running for president. What he did was pure Republican politics. He is a GOP drone, does what he s told, when he is told. Lead, follow or go home, Pawlenty!
He may have helped hold up seating Al Franken and think he got away with it, but he will have to answer to his constituency come 2012 if he decides tor run. It won't be pretty, the dems will mop the floor with him, Pawlenty does not stand a chance!
Of course he's going to run....isnt every Republican going to run? Idiots.
Typical Republican. Old guy with a dye job.
This moron lost his presidential chance when he tried to sabotaged the democratic process in the MN senate race. All he wanted to do, is keep the democrats from getting 60 votes.
Like Al Franken said: the GOP complains that government doesn't work, then they are elected and prove it.
Another Republican twit who seems to think he's going to be royalty.
Sorry Governor Pawlenty, but you're wasting your time. The Republicans can only win with big state canidates. Nixon and Reagan were both California guys, and both Bushes are Texas men. The two biggest states in the union. All of the small state guys like McCain, Dole, Ford and Goldwater all got smashed on. The only viable candidates the GOP can really entertain if they want to win are Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist, Rick Perry or Rudy Giuliani. If they nominate Pawlenty, Romney or Palin they'll lose big. It's going be entertaining to watch the Republican KILL each other during the primary. I can see Pawlenty avoiding the Southern 'far-right' states and winning the nomination appealing to independents and moderates in the rest of the country. He would be smart to study President Obama's O8' win.
Has he got blessed by Rush Limbaugh yet?
Sorry, but who cares? I lost respect for Pawlenty after he played political games with his GOP obstructionists against the senatorial seat for MN (i.e. taxation without representation).
That was in addition to Pawlenty's hypocrisy over stimulus. He fell in-line with GOP opposition, but as soon as it passed, Pawlenty tried to take credit for the benefits.
That's not leadership IMHO. No thanks.
Pawlenty is another Republican who has never had a mind of his own. He's belongs to Rush and Karl.