July 23rd, 2008
09:15 AM ET
13 years ago

Is McCain inching towards Pawlenty?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/23/art.mccainpawlenty.ap.jpg caption="Is McCain inching toward Pawlenty?"]ROCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - It's VP tea leaf reading season, and a Republican source who attended a small private meeting with John McCain Tuesday in New Hampshire tells CNN that the GOP candidate dropped a serious hint about Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

The Republican source said "out of the blue" McCain told the gathering that he thinks they are "really going to like" Pawlenty.

CNN's Political Market: Pawlenty's stock on the rise

This GOP source noted that McCain also said nice things about Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani, but those appeared to be standard lines he says about former rivals.

This source said McCain may have been talking about Pawlenty because the meeting was with New Hampshire GOP delegates, and the Republican convention is in Pawlenty's state.

But this source said McCain's praise was effusive, and noteworthy because it appeared to come "totally out of left field."

Pawlenty is a long-time supporter of McCain's. He's from a swing state with considerable support across the Republican Party, including evangelicals, and has always been thought by Republican strategists to be on McCain's short list.

The Minnesota governor, who is visiting Washington, was at McCain headquarters in Virginia today for meetings, according to a McCain aide.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (606 Responses)
  1. Torie B

    Mr. Jindal is too young. Give him more time. McCain would lose any ground to argue that Obama lacks experience. That is still a very legitimate concern for many voters.

    July 23, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. laxraddad

    If Senator Obama is elected as our next President, my plans to retire in 4 years will need to be stretched out an additional 4-6 years. His proposals for "wealth distribution" (aka tax increases) will see to that. If he doesn't respect our military commanders in the field, what makes you think he will respect anybody else? He acts Presidential when he has to but that swager in his walk and cockiness in his speech delivery speaks volumes about his disrespect for the common folk, you and I. Senator Obama speaks down to people as if you and I are too stupid to know what is best for us. Think about this folks. You can be upset with the Bush administration but don't use this as the criteria to vote in someone who clearly hates American's. We'll see in the debates just how Senator Obama handles himself. Without a written script he is vulnerable and that's the reason why he is not receptive to the "town-style" meetings Senator McCain has suggested. I believe Senator Obama is very bright however I do not believe he is very smart. I have never voted along the lines of my registered party. I have voted Republican, Democrat and Independent in presidential elections. All I ask is that you keep an open mind.

    July 23, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. amy

    What is going on with this PUMA (Party Unity My A–) organization that is saying Obama hijacked the nomination and is promising to bring a floor fight to the convention to give Hillary the nomination?

    You go Hillary - I am still for you!!

    Might be fun to watch the convention after all! Unless the media surpresses any conflict and continues it worship of Obama.

    July 23, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. Super delegate NJ

    I find no need for McCain to drop hints on his choice for VP or even make the announcement right now. The Democratic Party has already lost. Lets be real guys…all these high profile international visits amount to nothing…ZERO. He is halfway through his trip and yet he still doesn’t look presidential like they all hoped. Obama has real issues in his party to deal with other than put on these media frenzies across the Middle East and Europe. For example we all know that the Democratic Party is split right in the middle no matter how many times they bring out Obama and Hillary wearing the same uniform. They have already lost an election that had their party’s name all over it and trying to demonize Mc Cain’s pick for VP equals the last kicks of a dying hose. The thought of him naming a VP sends chills up their spines WHY???? Please remove the LOG in your eye before you remove the spec in mine.

    Didn’t Obama once tell Hillary that traveling and meeting world leaders does not prepare you for the number one job in this country? By doing the same thing he criticized his opponent for isn’t it politics as usual or is it concealing the inexperience in him? America, do not trust this guy.

    July 23, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I'm a Republican.....and I'm not swayed...I want to be part of the world again...not isolated and borrowing money from the Chinese....

    July 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. NY State of mind

    Oil down $16 barrel since last week-now Dem. Congress looking hard at speculators- why would that happen if all legitimate.
    Gas down from 4.11 to 4.04 average, % gas down APPOX. 2%-WHILE OIL DOWN-APPROX.-9%
    Answer me this Rep. getting fat off oil supporting McCain- HOW COME GAS PRICE DOESN’T FALL AT RATE OIL DOES WHEN IT INCREASES AT THAT RATE!


    Obama 08, only way out of the corruption and greed of our so –called leaders.

    July 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Obamasama Speak

    Well, this change surely represents a change in the change strategy. He might still change his mind in the future, because as you may know, yesterday is behind us and the future is tomorrow, and tomorrow is hope for change, a change that we didn't have yesterday because that's not the future. Let's all come together, dig?

    July 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Julien_French man from Paris

    Mc cain, you can't even write an essay, who dare you want to be the next us president?

    Someone need to tell me, may be he should ask his volunteers,


    July 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Susan

    Hey CNN. Why don't you print the story of another huge gaffe McLame made on CBS news last night, or the fact that in his desperation he did everything but call his opponent a traitor. This man is an evil little twerp, and you guys keep letting him get away with lies!

    July 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Jake from NY

    This ticker post is as pointless as the Headline PUMA article.

    CNN.... Please stick to serious issues or don't post anything. We , the readers, are not in need of filler material. Just post when there is news and stop grasping for non-stories that only muddy the real issues at hand.

    Thank you

    July 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. Anonymous

    This old Minnesota Democrat will tell you that T-Paw is one of the best politicians this state has ever produced.

    July 23, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Jeff

    Listen, if McCain picks Pawlenty it is over but it is almost over anyway. Jindal is the only one on the short list who can get everyones attention in America for a number of reasons. I can see why he would pick Pawlenty due to it being a battleground state. But when has MN made a difference. If McCain wants to spark the republican base and some independants he will pick Jindal.

    July 23, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Antoine

    Its obvious what McCain is doing. He's jealous that Barack Obama is getting all of this free press, so he's having his people throw out VP picks just to turn attention away from Obama. It's really sad. If McCain would do something INTERESTING and EXCITING and NOTEWORTHY, he would be in the news more.

    I know one thing though, Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty will NOT be McCain's VP picks.

    July 23, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. xcept4alltheothers

    Jindal looks like the future but has the same problem Obama has–very little executive experience (although Jindal one-ups Obama). Pawlenty who? Exactly right. Reminds me of Quayle.

    Romney seems to have finally come into his own. He articulates the issues better than anyone else on the Republican side. The economy looms large, and he knows what to do when the chips are down. Yes, he had to sell off some failing companies (that was his job when they failed) but he turned others around and helped build them into top name brands. He's a doer (took over corrupted Olympics with millions in deficits, cleaned it up and made a profit). Practical problem solver.

    July 23, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. JD

    ...of course the alumnus of the Keating Five is "dropping hints" – it's the only way he can stay in the news and still avoid talking about anything of substance.

    July 23, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. scott

    RE:The opposing party is suppose to be twenty to thirty points ahead in the polls at a time like this.

    Democrats run the House, Senate, have a governor in nearly every state and every major city in America. Who is really the opposing party? Most state legislative branches are also majority Democratic.

    You are correct we have a record number of foreclosures based on numbers but not on percentages. We also have record home ownership.

    If you are going to make statements, please make them factual.

    July 23, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. Student

    I will move to another country if McCain is elected. He has done NOTHING for my state (AZ, obviously) and he will do NOTHING good for this country

    July 23, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Claudia

    What are the Republicans thinking about, this guy should be replacing McCain. McCain needs to have some type of evaluation before he is allowed to continue on. Something is wrong with McCain and he himself should recognize this and with all due respect, pull himself out of this race.

    July 23, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. greenfun

    Andrea Mitchell is NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent and she reports her frustration with the lack of access that reporters are getting from Barack Obama on his overseas trip, saying the Interviews he is giving are considered by some to be fake.

    July 23, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Geezer

    The criticism and childish name calling in these comments is dispicable and ill informed. First of all we should all care who McCain picks, if he is elected and is unable to complete his term due to his advancing age and health problems, that's our next president by default. The ignorance and pedantic nature of commentary and analysis, even for the layperson is truly alarming. Secondly, no one should praise Obama for anything more than creating a phenomenon. He is an untested soldier in the every 4 year war for the presidency. His Senate record holds one distiction that aligns with his political rhetoric, he didn't vote for the Iraq war, and that was due to the fact he wasn' t even in the Senate then. Let's be honest here, given his hawkish intentions on Pakistan and Afganistan, what makes anybody think that he would not have voted to authorize military action in Iraq? Answer: no one can. For all of you Obamaites, keep in mind who is behind this man: George Soros, and Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski. Obama opted out of public funding not due to small individual donations, but to gurantee the continued support of his own set of 527s, ethanol, and Soros. The true questions we all must ask is which puppet do we want and what form of imperialism shall we take. McCain = trickle down, oilcentric, Middle East centered foreign policy vs. Obama = tax heavy, Keynesian, Caucus/Russian/Asian centric policy. Wake up you glibb interepters if you are to reap your own freedom from stagnated consciousness.

    July 23, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Lawrence

    Best choice for VP is Huckabee. No one else.

    July 23, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. karen-phoenix

    It really doesn't matter who McCain picks. The only hope the rep. party has that in 8 years they can make a star out of the new man. They had better pick a younger man. McCain has proven age does matter!!!! He is soooo out of touch with the war, economy, health care, education, etc. No OLD EXPERIENCE back in Washington!

    July 23, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. David


    boo mcsame and your stupid vice-presidents

    July 23, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. steveo

    the Israel government just told the world how it is that the next president is going to be democrats obama they have backstabber president Bush as president Bush put his country on the line protecting them with all his mite How deer them not good a giant kick in the side of the heads by the israel government

    July 23, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Matt

    Who cares. McCain doesn't have a chance.
    Unless maybe they can rig this vote too.

    July 23, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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