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. Brandon in Minnesota

    As we say in Minnesota, you think you've got problems, we've got Pawlenty!

    Seriously, Pawlenty has so much footage with GW, that this would be a great slam dunk for Obama to argue a continuation of Bush policies.

    July 22, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  2. tash

    ya this is the same pawlenty who vetoed all the funding bills for road construction–then the bridge collapsed. this is the same pawlenty who carped 16 million dollars of taconite taxes that were designated to keep greater minnesota from being sucked into the economic black hole that is the Metro.

    minnesota, a swing state...dont make me laugh!

    July 22, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  3. Florida Voter

    If McCain wants to win Ohio,Pennsylvania and Michigan
    he might consider John Kasich or Mike Pence.
    This whole election may well hinge on McCain
    winning two of those three states,I have heard that a few
    times already from Pundits.Pawlenty it was heard to be said,
    got low margins when he won and may not be able to bring
    Minnesota in the win column if he is chosen.

    July 22, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  4. Linda

    Finally, someone mentions Mike Huckabee, the man who should be on the ticket with McCain. If Mike is not picked I certainly don't hold out much hope of a Republican win! Pawlenty polled terrible with NcCain. He is boring and not known. Huckabee took the Republican party by surprise in the primaries and he and McCain are the perfect match! I really could not see why McCain wouldn't want a super star like Huckabee on his ticket. The man is the best speaker/debater out there, period. His Ronald Reagan reply in the Ca. debates had most people in tears!! He could certainly add alot of fun to Senator McCain's life!!! He also could add some excitement to the ticket. His one liners are what the media hangs on, so he would get some free buzz going for the Republicans and we certanly need it...

    July 23, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  5. Mary from Steamboat

    Well, Semper Fi, I agree with you: not on your choice to support Nobama...but on your observation that The annointed one is going to lose...and yes, race will be one of the reasons. But his real reason for losing will be because he is a terrible candidate: an arrogant pawn of the far left. How dare him go to the ME and act like he is already the President of our country.!! And to not give the military the credit due them for the surge working so well is abhorrent.
    McCain is a good and decent man of conviction and integrity. He will be our 44th President. I hope he picks Pawlenty or Romney.

    July 23, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  6. Mtui

    FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty:
    “The world is waiting to love America again.” That is a quote from a recent editorial in a British newspaper, and many Europeans are hoping Barack Obama will provide them with just that chance. When Obama travels to Europe later this week, it’s expected he’ll be treated like a rock star – mobbed by cheering fans in Berlin, Paris and London.
    A recent poll from England found 70% of Italians, 67% of Germans, 65% of the French and 49% of Britons would vote for Obama. Compare that to Republican John McCain, who gets support from 15% of Italians, 6% of Germans, 8% of the French and 14% in Britain.

    July 23, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  7. fred

    Not as irrelevant as the obama noise.

    July 23, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  8. Watermann

    1. the surge...2. the surge...3. the surge
    4. the war.......5. the war.......6. the war
    7. experience 8 experience 9 experience
    Who says that American elctions are boring?

    July 23, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. jp

    mccain is just trying to get attention!!

    July 23, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  10. Abby

    Please report the news. McCain wrong on the one thing he’s running on, the surge. He had the timeline completely wrong!!!

    "Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening," McCain said, referring to the U.S.-backed revolt of Sunni sheiks against al-Qaida in Anbar province. "I mean, that's just a matter of history."

    The problem with McCain's statement — as Obama's campaign quickly noted — was that the awakening got under way before President Bush announced in January 2007 his decision to flood Iraq with tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops to help combat violence.

    July 23, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  11. Steve - Minneapolis

    To Semper Fi

    Please don't give up. I understand what you are saying and am totally baffled as well. I thought we were over this. But this race is way too important to let the opportunity slip through our hands. I'm over 50 with a kid in college. I can't wait another 4 years for a turn around in policy and national direction.


    July 23, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  12. PG

    It's called DISTRACTION! McSame is in such array that he doesn't know what else to do then bring up something like his VP selection in order to "DRAG" the media his way. This guy needs to retire...FOR GOOD!

    July 23, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. pat C.

    i agree with 60 year old woman comment. i have heard enough about McCain today. he is boring, ignorant about anything other than his war memories [and they don't seem to be accurate these days]
    if this old fool didn't talk about obama he would have no message at all. who cares who he picks for a running mate. he will never understand what we need in america right now to make us a better and respected country. all he knows is iraq. i think he should move there, settle down in a retirement village and he and his old war buddies can just sit around all day and tell war stories!
    i also am a white middle age woman that just loves what obama stands for ...CHANGE!!!

    July 23, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. Brandon

    Please pick Pawlenty... McCain will not carry MN even if he chooses the Gov.

    The last two polls out of MN show McCain behind 17 points (Quinipiac and Rasmussen)

    Thats quite a challenge for McCain, even with Pawlenty.

    The only advantage of Pawlenty is a good sounding ticket, especially if Obama were to choose Nunn.

    The Slogan would go like this:

    Experience: McCain Pawlenty, Obama Nunn

    July 23, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  15. Nora

    Bla-bla -bla – Where is McSame – CBS gaffffffffffffffffeeeeee ?
    This is THE story.

    July 23, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. Robert

    So McCain wants to pick someone that nobody (meaning the rest of the country outside of Minnesota) knows? Really? And after this decision, the biggest of his campaign, he actually wants me to VOTE for him? Really?

    If his is the best he can come up with...seriously, the man is not ready to be president.

    July 23, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. Mike, TX

    Ok, now CNN can go back and cover for Obama so that America doesn't realize that Obama is a moron.

    July 23, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  18. Eddie Blake

    I sure hope not. We need Boby Jindal – a good strong CREATIONIST who will help reel in these liberal ideas about the earth being millions of years old (it's only about 6,000 years old of course). It's time to return to fundamentalist Christian roots that the forefathers intended. If the Muslims can have their Sharia law it's time for us to have Jesus's law.

    July 23, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  19. Morgan

    Senior moment, or shrewd attempt to gain some press coverage while Obama is burning up the trail in the Mideast? Only time can tell.

    July 23, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  20. Judgement over experience

    He is just doing this to take attention away from Barack's ultra successful mid east trip. Isn't it obvious people. First it was Jindal, now this guy, tommorrow it will be someone else.

    July 23, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |

    Even if his VP is Jesus, McCain will not win.

    July 23, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. Nina DePonca


    A younger, evangelical-attracting governor of a BLUE state addresses some of McCain's deficiencies, I suppose.

    Not sure what Minnesotians [sp?] really think of Pawley though. He was likely elected in a backlash to Ventura which makes it unlikely he can deliver his state to the GOP.

    McCain though is a flawed candidate.

    He couldn't care less about solving the ECONOMY problem and he won't be able to FAKE that.

    He is always "fighting- the-last-war" ... meaning he is reactive ... not proactive ... he won't be able to FAKE that.

    He is a tactician ... gets wrapped up in tactics .... Strategic planning & thinking is not where McCain's strengths lie ..... he won't be able to FAKE that.

    He is no longer a Maverick which is what was attractive about him. He might be able to FAKE that but then the GOP base will dessert him.

    July 23, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. John

    after seeing McCains adds here in Iowa I feel he has got to be the least worthy Presidential Canidate I have ever seen. After seeing Barack's adds He has run a clean, informitive race and deserves to have the chance at fixing everything that the GOP has gooten wrong in the last eight years. Obama 08'/12'

    July 23, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. Uncle Sam

    Communist Vietnamese erected a bust of John McCain inside Vietnam. His defenders say that it is in tribute to the PAVN gunners that shot him down. When was the last time you visited a memorial to the American Military where there was a bust of the enemy? Also, where is John's flag pin???

    July 23, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  25. Phil is right

    McCain is a used car sales man

    July 23, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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