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. Stephen

    McCains "hints" are nothing more than publicity stunts... to try desperately to take the attention away from Obama overseas... i mean, how obvious is it, that the day/day after the president of Iraq said he supported Obama's version of a pull out plan... and McCain starts stirring up hype about VP picks. He'll wait until after Obama picks a VP... for one last desperate chance to manuver for position... but honestly. Who's willing to sacrifice their political career by being attached to McCain's presidency...

    July 23, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. Morphtheus

    On one hand, you have a socialist in Obama that ignores the 2nd and 10th amendments, and on the other hand you have a fascist in McCain who ignores the 1st and 4th amendments.

    Obama believes in having the state control the economy and McCain believes in having the state control morality.

    When will people wake up enough to realize they are two sides of the same coin? It isn't left wing / right wing, it is a circle with freedom on one side and control on the other. They are both on the control side, but just want to control different things.

    The founding fathers would be throwing up in their mouth right now.

    July 23, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. JLB

    It's sad that McCain's VP will be more qualified to be President than Obama.

    July 23, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Steve

    Pawlenty = Huckabee Lite

    July 23, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Ted

    Dear Semper Fi – your political knowledge is as poor as your spelling. Obama's race has nothing to do with his poor showing in the polls, and everything to do with his positions. He has shown himself to be a typical democrat politician; pander to everyone, change position based on who's listening, count on a friendly media to ignore the gaffes and waffling, and add to that the arrogance of controlling the press situations and his complete lack of experience and lack of knowledge of basic policy issues. Turn the teleprompter off and he's a drowning man. He has less than 150 actual working days in the Senate!

    He was huge with democrats in the primary because they don't care about the issues, they only cared about his skin color and their hate of President Bush. Now that the general electorate is paying attention, the true man is showing, and he's not likable, and not competent. Perhaps you heard him saying that the surge, despite its obvious success, was a bad idea and he wouldn't support it again, even knowing what he knows now. And downplaying the military's role in the surge's success, where any blind person could see that it's the only reason it succeeded.

    And believe me, I'm not a McCain fan at all, but Obama is the single worst candidate for president in the last 50 years.

    July 23, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Jim

    McCain is doing a great job turning off a lot of independents, including me! Blaming Obama for the high price of gas was a new (and incrfedibly stupid) low point for him! The more he talks, the more I see of him, the more I hear from his far right supporters who simply recite the latest talking points without really addressing the issues or defining a strategy in Iraq, the more I'm leaning towards Obama!

    My prediction for November, Obama wins by a landslide! I think McCain will totally destroy any hope he has in upcoming debates with Obama.

    July 23, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. Richard Tostenson

    Pawlenty is one of the most sincere, honest, and understanding men I have ever seen or known in politics. Theres no facade with him. He is who you see and here. Thats refreshing. Thats something the democrats don't have. Besides he's also a very articulate, bright man as well. Whats not to like.

    July 23, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Rob A

    I've said for months that it might be Pawlenty. I am a Democrat, but I kind of like him. He has done an ok job here in Minnesota and he seems like an honest and nice man. It is time people stop voting strictly on party alone and look at the candidate. All you McCain haters with you clever little names for him, you sound like you are about 6. Grow up. And Semper Fi, Obama is not going to lose because of race, he is likely to lose because he is a weak candidate with nothing but empty talk. And way too far left. Bill Clinton won because, even though he is a Democrat, he is very much in the middle.

    July 23, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. Alice

    It is so obvious that the Repubs are simply dropping VP hints to try to steal the limelight from Obama's trip. It really sickens me the way "the media" is bending over backwards to give McCain coverage so the Repubs won't accuse it of bias.

    July 23, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Katie, OH

    by posting this you are playing right into McCain's game. He's trying to take focus off of Obama's trip, and by posting this article based completely on hearsay, he's getting just what he wants. I for one don't want to hear political gossip, i'd like the facts please.

    July 23, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Ramona,Ca

    All I know is, if flap jack Obama or should that be flip flop Obama get into office. the only change we are going to see is the change that"s left over in your pockets! McCain 08.

    July 23, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. John

    what???? NO FLAG PIN ON PAWLENTY'S LAPEL???? Just some bleeding heart "cause pin" 🙂 If we elect these clowns, we' ll get exactly what we deserve....exactly what we got the last 7+++ years...you know what they say the definition of insaniity is? Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
    Obama 08

    July 23, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Matthew

    The guy has zero accomplishements as Governor of Minnesota. Other than, say a bridge collapsing because his Lt. Governor served as commissioner of the Dept. of Transportation, and openly starved the state of maintenance funds (Can't cut a ribbon doing bridge maintenance!)

    What a perfect pick!

    July 23, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. LOL

    Why do 99% of Obama supporters sound like jr high school kids?

    "No one cares who Mclueless pick, he was born a looser"

    God save us all from these delusional people.

    July 23, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. John P.

    "Will the VP be able to tell us what is victory in Iraq, since McCain has no clue."

    All he has to do is tell us the opposite of whatever Obumma says is victory and he'll be right. Oh, I forgot, Obumma doesn't have any idea of what victory for our side is. He just wants to leave.

    July 23, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. WinslowAZ

    Obama should loose because he is a Marxist and for NO other resason. His color ie: race has nothing to do with it.

    If color was an issue, and if blacks only voted for color, Michael Steele would be the Senator from MD.

    Black voters overwhelmingly vote for DEMOCRATS no matter their color.

    McCain should pick a VP who is well known, liked by a majority of voters in this country, and is not an unknown.

    July 23, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. Mel


    July 23, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. mary

    McCain asked my computer for a donation today. I only spend money on conservative candidates, and unless he picks Mitt Romney to straighten out this economic disaster we are in, the Republicans needn't ask me to open up my pocketbook.

    July 23, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. Doug


    July 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. Tom in New Hope, MN

    Pawlenty would fit right in as McCain's VP because he is another guy who doesn't want to pay for anything. The Minnesota infrastructure is falling apart and down, i.e the 35 W bridge. He uses the Republican lexicon. We in Minnesota don't have taxes we have fees. Look out for Pawlenty or you will soon have paw-lenty of him.

    Vote wisely!

    July 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. MelissainMinneapolis

    Minnesota is not a swing state at all! The most recent polls show Obama hovering around 70% here.

    July 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. Dr. McBiggins

    I am surprised I even heard about this with all the media in Iraq following Obama. The media loves Obama, can't get enough. McCain has an uphill battle and we shall see the media coverage when Obama hints at his VEEP.

    July 23, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Bill NC

    Amazing that Nobama and McCain are the best we got. LOL
    In this case McCain is our only hope. Just say no to Obama and his tax,and freebie parade.

    July 23, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. sarah

    this is all counter-programming to Obama's much more important visit to Europe and the Middle East. McCain is doing anything he can to stay in the news and stay relevant. Nice Try.

    July 23, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  25. Chris

    A simply amazing choice. Pawlenty has done great things in Minnesota and has the youth and persistence to drive McCain's agenda in the heartland.

    McCain '08

    July 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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