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. LisaB

    Minnesota used to be a progressive, creative, culturally rich,economically resilient state before Pawlenty came into office and (along with state Republican legislators) cheapskated it into crumbling averageness with visionless and self-serving Republican economic policies. He is NOT who I would pick to be the representative of my state on the national political scene. The fact that McCain does not look healthy, making it more of a concern than in the recent past that the VP may actually need to take over, should be a concern to everyone. Pawlenty has worked with the state legislature like a spoiled brat when he does not get his way - name calling and all. A big no thank you to that choice.

    July 23, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Tim

    Semper Fi...Are you serious??? The only reason why you have even heard of Obama is BECAUSE of his race. It is the Democrats that are constantly playing the race card. They are all about dividing the country and tearing it down to get power. They don't care in the least about what is good for the country.

    July 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. William Kelly

    How come CNN does not mention the Edwards story?

    July 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. JeffRob

    We've got to keep in mind that John McCain will undoubtedly hold the title of Commander in Chief Most Likely to Croak While in Office.

    So, to that end, his pick has got to be someone we could actually see running the country in the next four years. Because it could very well happen.

    Jindal? Probably not. You know how conservatives feel bout them Injuns. Pawlenty's a better choice, mostly because no one has any idea who the heck he is, so there's nothing to lose there. I think Romney and Huckabee are problems for the same reason, though; you think Mississippi will vote for a Mormon to be a weak heartbeat from leader of the free world? Or New Hampshire an evangelical posterboy?

    This is gonna be really interesting.

    July 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Will

    Somehow my comment about Mcain being a "maverick "for seven years until he starts running for president didn't get posted. Was it because I posted about Obama stuttering through campaign stops. The media doesn't like to show those clips. Having seen Obama speak, He is an empty suit who can't respond to unrehearsed questions.

    July 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. SgtRon

    I hope all you Obama supporters have a good deal of cash stached away. Your going to need it after he raises taxes on EVERYONE, ruins small businesses, and hands out all the cash he can for every reason under the sun. Can ANY of you list his accomplishments ?? Even his hired guns have a hard time actually saying what he has DONE, not his promises of what he thinks he can do.

    July 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. DKaylan


    July 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Florida Democrat

    Unless Obama picks Hilary as his VP, McCain will have my vote no matter who he picks.

    July 23, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. Gary Chandler in Canada

    McCain can't get through a few minutes without saying 'that's just a fact' or 'General Petreus'. (Does Petreus endorse him?)
    He just said oil money gets into the hands of terrorists! and that's just a fact!
    The splurge gave bags of unmarked money, millions, to terrorists in Iraq. That's a fact! What are they doing with that money? luxury cars? or rearming?, redeploying?

    July 23, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Myron

    Semper Fi: You really need to read the state-by-state polling at Real Clear Politics and stop making broad generalizations about race. Specifically, stop selling white Americans short. Maybe friends in your circle are only concerned with race, but that's not everybody (and I live in the South).

    Obama is doing quite well as it stands right now. There is no reason for either side to throw in their hands at this point, but least of all Obama's side.

    God continue to bless America.

    July 23, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Rick

    McCain is going is to beat Obama, aka "Mr. Experience," because the voters will realize that he is an empty suit with the thinnest resume of any Presidential nominee in modern history. It doesn't matter who he picks to be VP.

    July 23, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. denze

    If you think this comment board is representative of what people actually think, then read the CNN Comments Policy. They edit it and only put up comments that fit with the worldview they want to promote. If this comment, in fact, makes it up onto the board I will be shocked and suspect that someone must have hit the wrong key.

    July 23, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. William Kelly

    What about Edwards

    July 23, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Whatever happened to the thought that a VP candidate ought to be someone capable of becoming president if need be? Seems particularly important with someone of McCain's age.

    Not that he's going to be elected anyway.

    July 23, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Len in Washington

    "Out of the blue..?"

    I can see him in talks with Israel and Palestine, India and Pakistan etc making "Out of the blue" comments.....can't you?

    No thanks.

    July 23, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Shasta

    For all of the whining McCain does about Obama's lack of experience in foreign policy, he's going towards the governor of MINNESOTA?

    Also, Pawlenty is a spitting image of Bush economically. He came into officer with a surplus, and MN up until a few months ago, had a billion dollar deficit.

    He appointed his Lt. Gov. as head of the Department of Transportation, and then the 35W bridge collapsed. And now he's paying the contractor who can get the next bridge built the FASTEST. Not the best, most sturdy, but the fastest. We have another major bridge that was in need of some bad repair work, but they ran out of steel. He can't even manage Minnesota.

    Of course, the silver lining of this is that when he tries to be J Mac's VP and they fail, he will totally not be re-elected. As it is, we're already sick of the republicans. I live/work in St Paul, and most of the people I know who aren't die hard repubs are getting out of the Twin Cities for that whole week.

    July 23, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Pawlenty

    Ask Pawlenty about Alfonso Rodriguez JR.

    July 23, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. M

    If this is true, I hope Pawlenty knows how to use a computer...because McCain sure can't!

    July 23, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. It Be Me

    Funny how McCain can't remember from one day to the next, what he says about Iraq.....

    Couple days ago
    *****"We HAVE succeeded. Not we ARE succeeding, but we HAVE succeeded;******

    In answer to question at town hall meeting....
    ******"We ARE suceeding in Iraq."********

    Seems his outlook changes each day, depending on which point he is trying to make.

    When he wants to put down Obama, than we HAVE succeeded....
    When he wants to defend keeping troops in Iraq, then we ARE succeeding.....

    And this is the man some of you want as President???

    July 23, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. JA Cook

    I hope whoever McCain picks that he knows current history better than McCain.

    John McCain to Katie Couric, "Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history."

    Actual history: The Awakening began in Anbar Province more than a year before the surge and took off in the summer and fall of 2006 in Ramadi and elsewhere, long before extra U.S. forces started flowing into Iraq in February and March of 2007 for the six month surge.

    July 23, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Barack W. Bush

    By refusing to acknowledge his mistakes, BHO is looking more like GWB every day.

    July 23, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Ian

    I think I speak for most people when I say, "Who cares?"

    July 23, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Mike, Baltimore, md

    The New York Times' Maureen Dowd points out a visual contrast this week that's going to be remembered for some time. "The image of John McCain in a golf cart with Bush 41 in Kennebunkport — with Poppy charmingly admitting that they were ‘a little jealous’ of all the Obama odyssey coverage — was not a good advertisement for the future, especially contrasted with the shots of Gen. David Petraeus and Obama smiling at each other companionably in a helicopter surveying Iraq. (Asked by a Democratic lawmaker a while back why there weren’t more Democrats in the military, General Petraeus smiled slyly and said ‘there are more than you think.’)"

    July 23, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. Ron Feuer, Charlotte, NC

    Shades of Dannie Quayle !!!!

    July 23, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Jackie Ryan

    This has to be a mistake! There have been numerous cases where Pawlenty has NOT wore a flag pin on his suit! How can McCain pick someone who obviously does not love America as his VP choice?!?!

    July 23, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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