April 12th, 2011
07:08 PM ET
3 years ago

Pawlenty: ‘I’m running for president’

(CNN) - Former Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told CNN's Piers Morgan Tuesday he's focused on running for the White House.

"I'm running for president," Pawlenty said in an interview Tuesday on "Piers Morgan Tonight.” "I'm not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for vice president. I'm focused on running for president."

Pawlenty was responding to a hypothetical question if he would serve as Donald Trump’s vice president if Trump received the GOP nomination in 2012.

Pawlenty, who announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee last month, told Morgan moments later that he will make a formal presidential announcement "in the coming weeks."

"I've got an exploratory committee up and running and we'll have a final or full announcement in the coming weeks here, it won't be too much longer, but everything is headed in that direction," Pawlenty said.

And his campaign said the “I’m running for president” comment was not an official announcement.

"As the governor has said many times, he is not running to be anybody's vice president," Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant told CNN. "He will have a formal announcement about running for president later this spring."

Transcript of the Q & A:

Morgan: There was a poll out only today, a CNN poll which probably made quite the disturbing reading for you. Did you ever imagine in your wildest nightmares that you'd see a poll of potential Republican candidates which had you at 2 percent and Donald Trump at 19 percent?

Pawlenty: Well for me, I'm just getting known Piers. So our trajectory is kind of a tortoise and hare strategy and as we get better known particularly in the early states I think you'll see those numbers change for me. But as to Donald Trump, the Donald I think he's funny, I think he's exciting. He's obviously very successful. I think he brings a lot to the debate so I welcome him to it. If hair is going to be a factor in this race, Piers then I'm going to grow my mullet back out. I had a mullet when I played hockey in high school …

Morgan: In a hypothetical scenario governor, if someone like Donald Trump was to emerge as the Republican nominee and asked you to be vice president, would you accept that honor?

Pawlenty: I'm running for president. I'm not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for vice president so I'm focused on running for president. And as to Donald Trump, I don't even know if he's going to run, but like I said, I hope he does in one sense. I think he's funny, he brings a lot to the debate, but I just hope that the country will take the full measure of all the candidates and make an informed decision. I believe they will.

Morgan: And governor, unless I was mistaken you just said you were running for president. Can we take that as a formal announcement?

Pawlenty: Well I've got an exploratory committee up and running and we'll have a final or full announcement in the coming weeks here, it won't be too much longer, but everything is headed in that direction Piers.


Filed under: 2012 • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. guest123

    Yeah, we noticed that more than two YEARS ago when you abandoned Minnesota when we needed a governor so you could run around all over the place campaigning. Don't think we will forget it either.

    April 12, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  2. Kesse

    When the media gives you life they will be the same group preparing your burial. Good luck man and I hope you get "Pawlenty" votes in 2012.

    April 12, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  3. Jakl

    Pawlenty Candidacy DOA

    April 12, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  4. Jessica

    Don't vote for Pawlenty. I'm from Minnesota, and while he was governor, he refused to compromise with anyone and vetoed whatever he didn't like, even bills with full bipartisan support. He let our infrastructure crumble (literally–35W bridge collapse, anyone?) because he refused to raise taxes regardless of the reason. Our schools suffered, our roads are full of potholes, property taxes have skyrocketed, and our social safety net has taken huge cuts–but OH, we did build a brand-new baseball stadium for a billionaire. Apparently that was the only thing in 8 years worth raising taxes for. He left us holding a 6-billion dollar bag and ran off to join the Tea Party, and I hope he let the door hit his butt on the way out.

    April 12, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. timz

    Don't you have to be a better governor than Jesse Ventura before you run for President? Jesse was a so-so governor, but he was WAY better than Slick Timmy. Maybe Slick Timmy can take over as Governor of Mississippi after Haley Barbour quits . . . that's about his speed.

    April 12, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  6. Let Tim

    Tim doesn't have a chance. :)

    April 12, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. J

    HAHAHA!!! You're going to lose too.

    April 12, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. John

    He's running for President of what? His country club? If he is talking about of the United States, he should really try comedy. What a doofus. The intellect of Sarah Palin and the personality of a bar of soap.

    April 12, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. bert bertinson

    The fact that he broke that story on cnn with piers morganis disturbing,eww, why would any self respecting republican vote for this guy in the primary..

    April 12, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Barry from Wisconsin

    Goodie! He has been pandering to the right-wing tea party wackos for months and months.

    Trump, Pawlenty, Palin, Bachmann, and Gingrich. A really top notch group of people who want to run the country….

    April 12, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  11. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    I can hardly contain my excitement.

    April 12, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I don't think anyone would show up if Little Timmy called a press conference. He's running for president, but not officially. There must be an intelligent republican out there, but are they are have to act like an idiot to get noticed by the birthers, baggers, and bigots.

    April 12, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. itsa

    Don't waste your time, money, or effort, Pawlenty. You have got zero chance to make it.

    April 12, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. jim

    he's my ex-governor and I'll NOT be voting for him.

    that should tell you something.

    April 12, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  15. Oh yeah

    "He will have a formal announcement about running for president later this spring." Like the others, if not this year, definitely by next.

    April 12, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
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