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. D&D

    To Semper Fi July 22nd, 2008 9:26 pm ET

    I think you should be more optimistic in life, if you are a die hard Obama supporter as you say, you should then know that believing strongly in something is the first step of getting it.
    When there is hope, there will be life, and when there is life, there is always possibility of improvement, change...

    So keep hoping, history is about to be made, trust me, Obama will be elected president of the United States of America.

    July 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. ProudToBeDemocrat

    Who cares I live in Minnesota, and I have not seen any thing from Pawlenty that helped Minesotans.

    July 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. David from Ohio

    McCain will win the election only if Obama and his supporters fail to do what is necessary to win. This is not a Republican year. It's Obama's election to lose, just as it was John Kerry's election to lose in 2004. Obama is not Kerry however, and has shown himself as a fighter. Picking Pawlenty as VP isn't going to help sway either independents or disappointed conservatives over to McCain.

    July 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Obama_for_the world

    What pathetic attempts by the McSame campaign and the MSM to claw up some attention?! Yesterday, it was Bob Jindhal, today it is Pawlenty, in the evening it was Mitt Romney, this evening it will be Huckabee...! Get a life somebody! The pathetic old man is crying for some attention thats all!

    July 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Larry

    Texas trail Dog...this whole notion of presidents following the advice of the "generals on the ground". Don't you know how this works. The President puts a general on the ground who will follow his philosopy and beliefs about the so called "war". If the the general doesn't aqgree with the president.....you soon hear about him retiring, and a new general takes his place, .....one who just happens to see things the same way the president does or pretends he does for political/career purposes.Then of course you repeatedly hear the president say...things will depend on conditions on the ground and the advice of the Generals there. So you see, after Barrack becomes president, Patreaus will retire, aned Barrack will install a general, who just happens to see things like the new president sees them...and will recommend a 16 month time-line...based of course on conditions on the ground. People need to get over this ridiculous notion that military leaders are pure. they are like anyone else....driven by politics and a desire to advance in their careers

    July 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Hispanos para Obama

    doesnt mattter who he picks. his flip flopping will not get it done.
    no one wants another MCBush term.

    Obama 08

    July 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. KMAN

    The fact that Pawlenty has been a long-time supporter and is a willing VP candidate for McCain certainly calls into question his own character and judgement! He doesn't bring much to the ticket and there are so many areas where McCain really needs help and lots of it!

    July 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. NewYorker Magazine Rocks

    Sorry Folks – Unless Pawlenty can walk on water, nobody will beat the messiah. The american and world media have already received invitations to Obama's coronation and most normal American folks like myself are not invited, nor do we want to go.

    July 23, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. Mike Achertz

    Phil....Romney a car salesman? Please. If there is one car salesman in politics today, it's John Edwards. Next time you watch him speak, count how many times he blinks his eyes and how wide he gapes open his mouth to push his BS out. That guy is a snake.

    I'm not McCain supporter, but you liberals are boring. Same lemming crap out of the majority of you every single day. I fear for the future of this country...

    July 23, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. john larson

    I liked the internet a lot better before the whacko liberals figured out how to use a computer...I yearn for the days when intelligent conservatives dominated the internet

    July 23, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  11. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    McCain's VP choice is about as significant as one picking his/her nose.

    July 23, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. Gertrude

    To Southern Trucker:

    Learn to spell: It's Loser not "Looser"

    July 23, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. Dem for Obama

    I personally think MItt Romney would be stronger. He's popular and lively...two things McCain NEEDS terribly!!

    Just as long as its NOT Jindal!

    July 23, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Ray Mastroleo

    Where are all the overseas donations for Sen. Obama coming from??
    I guess that other countries think that they can buy a President. How can we allow this junior Senator become the President based only upon his skills as an orator. He does an excellent job of lip service.

    July 23, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. VietnamVet

    Paw...Who? I hope he DOES select this guy! He is so unknown that he cannot help McSame at all. I do not recall ever hearing about this guy, let alone why he is suited to be a VP on either ticket. But, I am convinced that no candidate can help a solidly pro Iraq war, pro Bush, pro oil baron, Republican candidate such as McSame. We do not need another Bush four years, nor another war candidate!

    July 23, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Jarhead

    Semper Fi,

    Real clear politics has the spread at 4.5%. That number has been pretty constant for a while now. If Obama doesn't get a bounce from this trip, that will be problematic. If it is still within 10 points after Denver, Obama will almost surely lose. Should have nominated Hillary.. She would have tounced McCain.

    July 23, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Barry

    You can disagree and still be polite. But all I'm reading here is a lot of rude name calling. The real McShame is that people can't stay on issue and have to make their arguments personal. Something to think about.

    July 23, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. In reply to Semper Fi

    I do respect your opinion sir or madam, but I couldn't disagree more. If race were the issue holding Obama back, he would have lost in the primary. I do agree that Obama should be 20 points ahead at this juncture, but the reason is his lack of substance on the issues. All he speaks of is "change", but never articulates how we should "change". It takes more than charisma (and Barack has a lot of it) to "change". The change we desire needs to come from within (the American people), and not the guidance (and control) of the government.

    July 23, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. EBC

    BAD choice yet again Mr. McBUSH.... but hey, no surprise here.

    July 23, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. Otis

    Across the United States at this moment millions are asking, "Pawlenty who????"

    If that's the best McCain can do, he should start prepping for Viagra commercial like Bob Dole after '96.

    July 23, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. jim - chicago, illinois


    July 23, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. tupac from hell

    Texan Trail Dog,
    Your post here just goes to reveal what kind of uneducated fool you are. Go back and get your GED before you starting making comments in public. Your wife and neighbors might think you're bright, but dude! I bet you can't even explain what states surround Texas let alone the countries around Iraq.

    July 23, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  23. Matt

    McLame is just trying to get some media attention in between fits of whining about the media. Pawlenty–now there's a choice that will set the electorate on fire. It's time for McOld's nap.

    July 23, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. spudmctater

    I'm from Minnesota and have predicted this for over a year. Pawlenty was with McCain early on and stuck with him during some very lean months in the campaign. Though I'm a Democrat, I thought seriously about voting for Pawlenty last time around because the D was a bad candidate.

    Pawlenty brings youth, charisma, and an ability to work across the aisle, because he's had to in a predominantly Democratic state. The national GOP has been watching him for years and directed him to run for governor in 2002 rather than senator.

    He meets the "could he be president tomorrow" test because he's been governor for 6 years, has shown his support for our troops overseas (he flew to Bosnia, etc. to visit Minn. troops), and has a great sense of humor. And, let's be honest, he's an attractive guy and has a beautiful wife and young children.

    If McCain is smart, he'll pick Pawlenty. I'll still vote for Obama, but I would tell my GOP friends that Pawlenty is a good choice.

    July 23, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. djsalinger

    let's see...barry now wants restrictionson abortions, thinks faith based organizations are cool, backs FISA wire taps, thinks troops should stay in Iraq...how about McCain/Obama-give Obama a couple more weeks and he'll be a republican!

    July 23, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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