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. Eileen from Maine

    Hopefully Pawlenty will be up to the task of constantly covering for McCain. McCain has shown himself to be a petty, insecure and jealous man who can't tolerate any criticism without coming unhinged. Pawlenty will have his hands full and more power to him if he is willing to put up with McCain's juvenile nonsense.

    July 23, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. 17 year old future politician

    What??? Pawlenty??? He has no kind of media attention what so ever! Last I checked McCain needs the media big time! Pawlenty isn't going to get you anything but a bunch of Minnesota votes.... Pawlenty....are you serious???


    July 23, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Marcus, Great Lakes IL

    You have to think about all those who back McCain during this election because he would make a "better President" during a time of conflict when they apparently backed the "cowboy" during 2000 over the POW.

    And you talk about doing a flip-flop!

    July 23, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Ed

    Semper Fi: Don't blame racism for Sen Obama losing, you just picked the wrong Candidate to run. Sen Clinton would be ahead by 20 points right now. You still have the opportunity to pick her at the Convention. Sen Obama is just a normal old slick politician. Sen McCain is not really quick on his feet. However, I think he will be better in the Debates. I did not think it would be possible for the Libs to lose another election, but Sen Obama is making it possible. Along with the bias of the media which is finally in the open now. This the folks are not going to appreciate. Good luck.

    July 23, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. Esther

    Actually Semper_Fi(blogger above) has a good point. Race is very vital in this election and people just want to ignore it and not admit it as usual. If Obama (with all his brains, charisma, judgement, youth, wonderful record, foreign policy/ulitmate world respect, economical policies, respect for constitution, opposition to the foolish expensive war, and stability) was WHITE, McSame would have not stood a chance at all! The polls at this time would have been enough for him to be considering withdrawal by now. The only chance he's running on is the fact that Obama is white AND some very very STUPID americans unfortunately cannot see past that!

    July 23, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. Johnnny

    Oh, I get it now. You take Mccain's name and change the cain part to something derogatory to make fun of him. God you guys are so funny. That is so freaking funny. I feel like actually laughing out loud at how funny and clever you liberals are. Oh, if only I could have thought of something as funny as that

    July 23, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. NPA

    The disturbing thing about John McCain is that he has been trying to change the facts to fit his argument: the fact that the Iraqis decision to kick out Al Qaeda came about a year before the surge; the fact that Al Qaeda could never control Iraq; the fact that there is no boarder between Iraq and Afghanistan.

    If McCain is trying to change the facts deliberately, then he is a sad reminder of how Bush changed the facts to justify the Iraq war. If those “gaffes” are not deliberate, then we have a mentally ill candidate on our hand, and the republican party needs to nominate someone else.

    Just nominating a good VP and hope they can keep McCain's illness from the knowledge of the people is not going to work. McCain's condition is deteriorating.

    July 23, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  8. Vinny in Minne...

    This election is already over, the media is so in the tank for Obama. How can the second coming be denied?

    After Obama's current middle East visit he will be hailed as a war hero. This guy just cant loose.

    July 23, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  9. From Minnesota

    He can have Pawlenty. We have Pawlenty of reasons to get rid of him including the bridge disaster, underfunding education, etc... typically republican starve the poor and feed the rich mentality. Then, when McCain loses, Pawlenty's political career is over. Ha ha ha

    July 23, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Old Bob

    I can see what a nice job public education has done for your spelling.

    Elagabalus is where we have come as a nation.

    July 23, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  11. And so?

    Does it really matter right now...let's wait til he actually chooses.

    I'm tired of the media always playing this up.

    McCain is only doing this to "try" and upstage Obama while he's traveling abroad and making big gains. Notice I said "try." (It won't work.)

    McCain is too old and too military. The only experience he has is being a POW. Patriotism and stamina alone don't qualify him.

    July 23, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. Nestor, Austin, TX

    McCain needs someone who can bring something to his ticket. What does Pawlenty bring? Raising taxes to fix bridges when they weren't using the money for bridges on bridges? If that's the kind of person McCain wants, why not just pick Hillary for VP? Or how about Kathleen Blanco, who didn't use levee money for levees? If McCain picks Pawlenty, I'll probably have to sit this election out. I'd rather let the democrats have it and run the country into the ground themselves than let the republicans do it.

    McCain, please. Pick Romney, Giuliani or Jindal. You need someone with executive experience, (which Pawlenty has) but who's made an actual conservative decision in their life. You also need someone with a backbone.

    July 23, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. 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 race.

    July 23, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. mary

    I guess you Obama folks don't listen to what he says or you wouldn't be so quick to support him. You are being brainwashed by the liberal media drooling all over him.

    Questionsf forObama?
    Why were you against FISA before you voted for it?
    Why were you for the DC Gun ban before you agreed that it was unconstitutional?
    Do you know how many states there are in the USA?
    Why did ask you meet with General Petraeus and ignore his input?
    Since your followers see you as the "Second Coming" are you handing out loaves and fishes at the convention?
    Why can't you give a straight coherent answer to the success of the surge?
    What made you change your mind about wearing a flag pin?
    And why are you AFRAID to meet with John McCain and take questions in a town hall meeting?

    Obama's responses:

    duh uhh uhh hmm, I have been consistent, uhh hmm duh 57 states, Israel is a big supporter of Israel, I am President of the hmmm not yet, wait I am President of Europe, duh I think.

    July 23, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Michael

    Ok guys, answer one question...just one. Without talking about ANYONE or anything but Obama...What has the rookie Senator ever done...ever...of actual substance that qualifies him to be president? Show me where he promoted a piece of legislation that wouldn't tax us to death...or any piece of legislation that bears his name...the World Poverty solution that he wanted US taxpayers to pay for? Now remember we're talking only about Obama...what has he actually done? I know he voted 'present' instead of taking a stand. I know he won't do townhalls with his opponet (no teleprompters)...so what EXACTLY has he done? Now I'll sit back and watch you dance around this one.

    July 23, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. Mary

    Pawlenty would be a big mistake. Mike Huckabee is the only choice that will help McCain win. I'm not even sure I would vote for McCain if Huckabee is not chosen.

    July 23, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. Otto Oates

    McCain should pick Senator Larry Craig.

    July 23, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Norma

    Really don't care who he picks as VP.
    We already know McOld is a 3rd Bush term but i didn't think he would run a 3rd Bush/Rove campaign.....

    July 23, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. Veteran for McCain

    I hope McCain picks Jindal from Louisiana. I can just hear the Left saying, look at how young and inexperienced he is and......... oh wait, he has more experience than the guy we want as president. Whoops!

    July 23, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |

    To Semper Fi

    Dont give up HOPE...I think Race will take a close second to Obama's win.

    YES WE CAN!!!

    July 23, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. Peter of Oregon

    Hillarious... John Keating 5 McCain is just trying to shift media focus from Obama's overseas trip by creating a "story."

    July 23, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. Debs

    Should be picking Huckabee. All others including Jindal are not presidential material. No leadership qualities, and no charisma, especially Jindal.

    July 23, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  23. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    What McSame is looking for is a VP that will say nothing about McSame's plan but attack Obama at every chance, true or not.
    Sorry you've got Obama and McCain backwards.

    July 23, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. GARY


    July 23, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  25. Carl from MI

    hey Texas Trail Dog... You're calling Obama an idiot when you have the KING of IDIOTS currently as Commander in Chief? That's rich!!!!!! I guarantee you, whatever Obama does in office will in no way be as stupid as the things DUBYA & Co. has done. You can take that one to the bank!! God help us and get Dubya out of office ASAP!!!

    As for Obama and Gen. Petraeus (show some respect and spell his name right, Repuglican!), Obama let him know in no uncertain terms that should he become Commander in Chief, the General will be taking direction from him and not vice-versa. If the General wanted to call the shots in Iraq, he should have ran for POTUS himself.

    July 23, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
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