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. Mike Easter

    My perception of Pawlenty (I'm from Minnesota and you can take it with a grain of salt if you like): He is the ultimate partisan and absolutely refuses to compromise. He wouldn't support a Democratic initiative even if his life depended on it. He wouldn't even support a cure for cancer if it had even a scent of Democratic support on it. Everything with this man is a Democrat vs Republican issue. He will talk about "reaching across the aisle", but only if it is the Democrats doing the reaching and only if they are reaching across the aisle with their lips to kiss his butt.

    July 23, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Picking a less preferred VP in Johnson probably helped JFK win, but
    Kennedy was popular even without Johnson. McCain lacks the Kennedy flair, so will it really matter who he selects?

    July 23, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. RJ

    don't they always start with strong rumors of who will be the VP, then let the media destroy or praise him. if it doesn't go well, they can pick someone else without it looking like they were forced into it?

    i used to be able to tolerate McCain but he's been so far off in so many things lately that i am now shuddering to think what it would be like if he won.

    July 23, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Kevin

    But what are we conservatives about? We're about liberty. We are about country. We are about faith. We are about loyalty to our troops on the battlefield. We are about winning wars. We are about sending whatever reinforcements and resources our soldiers need to defeat the terrorists or our enemies anywhere they appear on the battlefield. We are about, as conservatives, limited government and individual liberty, free, genuinely free, political speech. The freedom to exercise your religion, your private property rights, the right to keep most of what you earn. This is who we are. This is what we believe. This used to be our movement. These are things that Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Tom Harkin, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin, John Kerry, Barrack Obama, and the rest of the Democrats work day and night to diminish. The left is about seizing and keeping power. They are about undermining the traditions and institutions that have made the country great. That would include the Constitution, which they dismiss as a living and breathing document, to be interpreted by activist judges at the behest of liberal trial lawyers. They want the Constitution to bend and shape to accommodate where they happen to be in a given year, in a given month, on a given day.

    July 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. Tom

    Jindal is a much better pick. Young yet more experienced than Obama, and extremely competent.

    If anyone on this reply this actually has a point, that you be nice. Bunch of tought guys coming up with un-funny nicknames for somebody who - at 71 - could still probably knock you out.

    July 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. Independent

    Nothing will help McCain. What a nightmare he would be as President. The world has changed and we are losing step. Time for a different approach. Good luck to you Mr. Obama, you will inherit a very tough job.

    July 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. Tunnie

    John McInsane is dreadful to look at and listen to. He is so boring how can the the Republican stand to listen to him. They could have at least chose a nominee who has a ltittle spark left. Maybe he is choosing Gov. Pawlenty to make him look good. I'll give him to Friday and he will have forgotten he who he wants to be his VP. PLEASE DON'T LET THIS SHORTY BECOME PRESIDENT.

    July 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. left wing nut job

    McCain needs to pick a VP that will be the next president after he finishes his one term presidency.

    Ohblowme doesn't have a chance = unqualified, know nothing, do nothing. What has he ever run in an executive capacity, other than an ant farm?

    Vote GoP and keep America STRONG !

    July 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. M in MN

    McCain can have him!

    Since Mr. "No new taxes" Pawlenty took office, we've seen property taxes go through the roof because schools are no longer funded, crime is up because there are less police on the street, and need we mention the fact that his underfunding of the transportation infrastructure led to the collapse of the 35W bridge (and that now 13 other bridges in MN have been closed because oops, I guess those were ready to fall down, too!)

    We'd be happy to have him out of here.

    Oh yeah, and as far as good will McCain is going to get from the convention being here as one poster said, I think not. I work in downtown St. Paul, and we're closing our office for the week to get away from that mess!

    July 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Tom

    Jindal is a much better pick. Young yet more experienced than Obama, and extremely competent.

    If anyone on this reply actually has a point, that would be nice. Bunch of tough guys coming up with un-funny nicknames for somebody who — at 71 — could still probably knock you out.

    July 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Jim Baker

    McShame, McClueless, McSame, McOld? This must be the moron thread. See you later, suckers.

    July 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Seahawks

    McCain has the advantage of selecting a VP choice from a deep
    and quality team of GOP men & women!

    Obama has ??? Hillary??

    July 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Dan Thompson

    Why do they keep saying Minnesota is a swing state?? It is SOLIDLY Obama territory. It is SOLIDLY blue territory on a national basis. They are the only idiots voting for Walter Mondale, for goodness sake! Pawlenty couldn't swing Minnesota to Republican.

    July 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Uncle Sam

    John Magoo has no clue!!!

    July 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. jg

    GOOD! Pick Pawlenty so we in Minnesota don't have to put up with the dope. Don't you people realise that it doesn't MATTER WHO gets elected yer screwed?

    July 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Shaggy

    When Lord Obama goes down in flames I will so Enjoy watching all you ignorant brats whine like you did the past 8 years.

    July 23, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. Mike/Ohio

    I not for bashing anyone -- but McCain is the clear choice for America since most Americans would like to have a lot more than "change" left in their bank account and pockets if a socialist liberal gets in office.

    July 23, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. Michael

    Wow!! you people with your McCain diatribes really scare me!!!!... You say that McCain useless and incompetent however what do you really know about Osama... oops I mean Obama? Not to mention you hate Mit Romney yet your extremely Liberal stronghold, a state we like to call Chappequidick chussetes (Masachusetts for you liberals that conveniently dismiss your own interesting history), loved him and delivered him a record amount of democratic votes for a republican candidate for governor in that state. That aside, please enlighten me what it is that draws you to Obama.... he like all politicians is not exactly a posterchild for honesty or being forthcoming. He says he is for change but the only change I see is raising taxes... hardly a new stance for a government official. However his impressive tenure as a state senator, (LESS THAN A FULL TERM) is truly frightening!!!! What do you really know about this man???? At the very least McCain may be old and a bit of a toothless tiger but atleast you know what you have, Obama truly represents the unknown and that should scare everyone to death.... yet it doesn't. I can't believe I am about to write this next statement, however, ....gulp... I would rather see Hillary in the Oval Office

    July 23, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Dameun Strange

    Please take him. You can have him.

    July 23, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Texas trail puppy!

    Thought he was going to pick the exorcist Jindal.

    July 23, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. rich5

    pawlenty has a 60% approval rating in Minnesota The angry little liberals on this post do not like him for he stands up to them. I hope that he does not accept the slot for the state will be in dems hands all around ...god help us! angry little liberals are like flys the are annoying

    July 23, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Interesting, isn't it, that the furthest intellectual reach of these Obama fans is to make juvenile jokes about McCain's name (McSame, McClueless, McScum) and that their grammar matches this display (run-on sentences, putting capital letters in the wrong place and more). Hurrah for the dawning of the new age of liberal rednecks.

    July 23, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. PFINVA

    Thank you Semper Fi for your service.

    Just to clarify most on the right are against Obama because he is sociallist, not because he is black (though he is really half black, half white). He wants higher taxes, more government intervention in our lives, a weaker national defence, no drilling for more oil/natural gas and a more liberal Supreme Court. These are the reasons we do not like him — not because of his skin color.

    If the truth about his policies does get out Obama will lose. He will lose because of policies/beliefs not ra

    July 23, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Michael S. Fort Wayne, Indiana

    Maybe he meant Ron Paul.

    Just another McCain word bumble. He was saying, "you're going to like Paul plenty.".

    Yeah...That's the ticket.

    July 23, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |


    July 23, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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