Asked if he'd run with Romney, Pawlenty doesn't say no
May 17th, 2012
04:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Asked if he'd run with Romney, Pawlenty doesn't say no

(CNN) - Tim Pawlenty didn't use on Thursday the one word which most potential GOP vice presidential picks have used this year when asked if they would accept the number two spot: "no."

"I'm going to do whatever I can to help Mitt Romney defeat Barack Obama," he said in an interview on MSNBC. "I've just been telling people, look, I think I can help in other ways but obviously anyone would be honored to serve if asked."

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The former Minnesota governor is co-chair of Romney's campaign, and deflected questions about whether Romney's campaign was vetting him for the position, saying campaign policy is "that we don't talk about the vice presidential" selection.

"That's something that we're just going to leave for another day and another time, not because I'm trying to be coy with you... that's just the campaign policy, we don't discuss the details of that process," he said.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota similarly did not shoot down the idea of his own spot on the ticket, saying on Sunday, "You never rule out opportunities or options when you're involved in public life and you say you want to make a difference. If you're serious about that, obviously you don't foreclose options."

Pawlenty and Thune's responses offer a contrast to adamant rejections of the position by others, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Their answers were closer to those Pawlenty has given previously, such as in a Monday interview when he said, "I'm going to take my name off the list, so if ... you're a journalist, an observer, remove my name from the list."

Pawlenty quit the presidential race after the Iowa straw poll in the summer of 2011, and has since been a prominent supporter of Romney. He was considered a likely pick to be the 2008 vice presidential nominee.

Also see:

Obama campaign focuses on military families

Senate's all-day budget debate dominated by politics

Bain back-and-forth continues

Big spending and close polls in Wisconsin recall battle


Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Mitt Romney • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Devon

    Look, I am all in favor off the ROMNEY RUBES RYAN ROVE voter surpression act of 2012. I think its great that 4 Extremely powerful WHITE men are making it difficult for Blacks & Hispanics to vote, Mitt is Giving MILLIONS to the Gop Governors to make it hard for even Disabled people to vote. Ever go to Dmv & try to grt an ID without an ID. As the Bishop & rove laughs, Im not, This Slimeball Romney is got the doe to do it. Voting is a RIGHT, not a Privlidge. Please Congress stop the Bigotry & Mr Personalitys CHEATING to win this election. Stop the ROMNEY RUBES RYAN ROVE voter surpression act of 2012 in its tracks. Rigging Elelections is what they do in Iran & China & Syria, not in the USA. Romney, QUIT IT, You POS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 17, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oh, so now the has to pick between TPau, and John Thune. Two Midwesterners. What? Don't any of the Southerners have the courage to take the number 2 slot?

    May 17, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    A picture says a thousand words. I only have one word for bot of them: LOSERS!

    One governor was 47th in the nation in job creation. Plus there is no record of his record as governor because fortunately for him all the computers and records have been destroyed. Then the other governor left his state with massive debt to the tune of $8 billion.

    May 17, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Expat American

    Romney will choose Karl Rove as his running mate. Then, maybe between the two of them, they can find a possibly find a working half set of grapefruits. Romney the creepy cream puff bully and Rove the red faced bloated impotent eunuch.

    May 17, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    This dude got to be out of mind on losing ticket. No wonder he is out so early. Mittens will never win. Any one who thinks of mittens is as crazy as this Bain capital.... Yes, on obama12.

    May 17, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Bootstomper

    Same Cadillac dealership.

    May 17, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. RINO Bil

    If Romney picks any Tea Party candidate for VP, I will hold my nose and vote for Obama. If he has the cojones to pick a normal Republican with no social agenda, then I will vote for him.

    May 17, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    I dunno, man....Deputy Doublethink looks to be sizing up Polenta for a hair cut in that photo above.

    May 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. v_mag

    Romney (aka, Rob-money, Rob-me, RNC-money, RNC-monkey, Flipper, Etch-a-Sketch, and Mr. Personality) = BUSH.

    No more Bush, no more Romney, no more right wing b.s., no more thinly-veiled racism, no more freebies for the rich, no more ugly useless wars. The country may not be able to last through another Repugnant administration.

    May 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    Two losers together. nice picture.
    @RINO Bill – I guess you will be holding your nose and voting for the President because norquist, rove and koch brothers want a spineless twit in the WH so they can tell him what to do. It started with all the flip flopping to grenell's firing to pupetee norquist himself stating this fact.

    May 17, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. roscoe

    Double whimp ticket

    May 17, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    Pawlenty would be PERFECT for Willard. He's the ONLY person who makes Willard look alive. A match made on Wall Street if ever I saw one.

    May 17, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. anagram_kid

    At this point Gov. Pawlenty has nothing to lose. And, this would provide exposure that would help with his next book or securing a TV pundit position. However, if the goal is to add that ‘it’ factor to the ticket, choosing someone so similar to Gov. Romney won’t help him much. In many ways he faces the same conundrum Sen. McCain faced; he needs someone to excite the base that won’t turn off independents. Good luck with that!

    May 17, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Lenny

    Given how Pawlenty backed down from Willard in the very first debate, it seems weasel-worded Willard found his perfect chicken.

    May 17, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. anagram_kid

    RINO Bil wrote – If Romney picks any Tea Party candidate for VP, I will hold my nose and vote for Obama. If he has the cojones to pick a normal Republican with no social agenda, then I will vote for him.
    ---------------------------------
    I feel your pain and am sad to tell you that the days of Republicans without social agendas may be gone for a long time. I believe we need differing ideas on solutions in government and hope that we can get past the social issues and start focusing on what will ensure we prosper – having an educated, healthy, productive and forward thinking population.

    May 17, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If Romney wins the WH, the money powers are going to bounce him around like a ball, in their direction. If you think Obama is bad, you ain't seen nothing yet; Republicans have let Romney he's not their choice and he knows it so he'll have to bend in ways that no President should have to deal with and he'll do it because he's weak.

    May 17, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Tim Pawlenty would be a better presidential candidate then Romney.
    He just didn't have the deep Pockets " CASH ".

    Wont vote for neither of them , to much starch on the shirt !

    May 17, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. T'sah From Virginia

    If you ask one of the SMURFS, they will run with Romney too; so what does that say about Romney??

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    May 17, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. gg

    yep his head looks the right size

    May 17, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. Pete

    Well,is that 19,20 ,its gotta be up there,VP hopefulls sayin" no",such a likable guy Romney is.He's arrogent ,thoughtless,heartless,spineless,no sencerity,no memory,or wanting not to remember,frugel,ya its not my money,let's spend it,what the hell,all the traits a republican wants for a president,he's a shoe in,just ask Rove and company,they'll buy it for him,just like they did for Bush,remember!!!Don't put up ropes,he'll sic his guards on ya and won't answer anything,just clam up,that's it,selective memory loss.Yah, must be war related,that's it CSML,CAMPAIGN SELECTIVE MEMORY LOSS,must be hard on his family,being republican and all,do they give sympathy points,Romneys campaign advisors are checkin now!!!

    May 17, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I remember in the earlier debates T-Paw was so timid and seemed to be scared of Mitt Romney he could not even confront him face to face.......had no problem calling out Bachmann though who actually cleaned his clock about the financial state he left Minnesota in. Maybe T-Paw knew in his hearts of hearts he really wanted to be second on a ticket anyway.

    May 17, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I doubt Romney is desperate enough to pick the Banjo Boy from Deliverance as a running mate!

    May 17, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. Ron

    The Republicans are thiefs

    May 17, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  24. 1twinsfan

    Sure, Romney could go with Pawlenty. If he wants to find someone even less exciting than himself. On the fiscal side, Pawlenty gutted the great state of MN and he never once got 50% of the vote here. Even we in MN don't like him.

    May 17, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Obama has done more than any president has ever done , If obama wasnt in office most of your old folks would be out there homes right now , If it wasnt for obama GM, Chrysler would be shut down .... But these pointless wars that we have that they take out our taxes is ridicilous , What people fail to realize is that Bush messed the country up not OBAMA hes trying to dig us out the hole that bush made .. If anyone think republicians should be in office your either rich or stupid if you dont believe everyone deserves equality then your ignorant

    May 17, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
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