(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.