(CNN) – Minnesota’s Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is widely considered to be a likely contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, said Sunday that he does not view himself as being in competition with his party’s most recent vice presidential nominee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Asked about his own 2012 plans, Pawlenty was coy and judicious, suggesting that his recent travels to many states likely to be important in the next White House race were because of his duties as the vice chair of the Republican Governors Association.
“Part of my responsibility,” Pawlenty told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King on Sunday’s State of the Union, “is to travel the country when appropriate, as time allows, to help Republican candidates for governor get elected or re elected. So that’s part of it. And, as time allows, I’m going to speak to issues that I think my party needs to improve on – both here in Minnesota and nationally. I believe that’s an important opportunity and responsibility.”
But Pawlenty was clear that he does not view himself as competing with former Gov. Palin.
The former Alaska governor is “a friend,” Pawlenty told King, “I don’t view her as somebody who’s a competitor for anything. I view her as a teammate.”
Pressed on his view of himself relative to Palin, Pawlenty reiterated, “I view her as a friend. And I think she’s somebody who has been a remarkable leader in Alaska under difficult circumstances. I don’t know what the future holds for her.”
Pawlenty also appeared to hold no ill will over Sen. John McCain’s reported decision to pick Gov. Palin over Gov. Pawlenty for the vice presidential nod on last year’s Republican ticket.
“I’m a huge fan of Sen. McCain. I think he made the choice he felt was right for not only his ticket but for the country in the circumstances of the time,” said Pawlenty. The Minnesota Republican added that he did not think McCain made a mistake in choosing Palin as his running mate.
As CNN is very good about eliminating any comment they disagree with (then call themselves "news") I suppose I'm wasting my time.
However – Palin is nothing but a candidate for 'class clown' – and Pawlenty only WISHES she was his competition. *L*
Tim, sorry but you will need to wait until 2016!
Obama is too darn effective!
Thx Tim! There are many Republicans who hold the same view of her potential for any office. She's is a quiter and is looking for nothing but the limelight!
The Pawlenty-Hutchinson ticket wins. Secretary of State Palin (the only major candidate who can see Russia from her front porch). Chief of Staff Bachmann. Secretary of Education Limbaugh. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Levi) Johnston.
What a time we'll have!
A remarkable leader who quit?? Seriously?
Take this from a Minnesotan who knows: Pawlenty is nothing new. He's the same old Bushonomics, same old social conservatism, both of which we soundly rejected in November with good reason. Here in Minnesota, we've had Paw-lenty of Pawlenty, and we don't want any more of him, either here or on the national stage. Pawlenty is NOT your candidate for President, unless you're a corporate CEO or are independently wealthy. This guy cares NOTHING about regular working people!
I agree with Pawlenty that Palin is not a competitor. She is a true Republican and "mean girl" who can only view their world on their personal preferences and cannot tolerate another opposing view.
Palin during the campaign was ready to criticize and try to ridicule other people opinions. However, when interviewed and given a chance to support her beliefs, we found that she was an airhead... or brain dead. Then all during the campaign, we found out all these morality issues she claimed the "high ground" on weren't followed by any of the Palins as we watch them step on one exploding bomb after another before and after the campaign. Please no Palin for 2012.
CNN you are such a JOKE! Your obsession with Palin is pathetic. On the other hand you don't even cover the Van Jones story until 12 hours after he resigns. FOX is so much better than CNN or MSDNC.
Governor Pawlenty is as transparent as he is a sad character in the political soap opera of today. He personifies all that is evil about the extreme Right, and is a sorry representative of the State of Minnesota.
Heaven help us if the GOP is successful at getting the Governor elected to the White House. The only difference between Governor Pawlenty and the pretender to the throne from 2001-2008 is the Governor tends to be less illiterate and buffoon-ish.
why are we STILL talking about Sarah Palin???
It was an interesting interview, but to be fair he also said that he views her as a friend and not a competitor.
I hate the way the media twists words around so easily......
What happened to the days when you could actually trust a news/media report???
I might vote for him if he does not make any more stupid comments. Let Palin make fool of herself.