July 23rd, 2008
05:30 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain talks up Pawlenty

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Reluctant at first to wade into the vice presidential selection process, John McCain Wednesday was coaxed into offering more praise for one of the hotter names in the speculation game this week.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty drew more attention as a likely short-lister earlier this week after McCain brought him up unsolicited in New Hampshire, telling a private meeting of delegates they were “really going to like him.”

At a media availability inside a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania grocery store Wednesday, McCain was asked about talk Pawlenty was at the top of the list.

At first, McCain demurred, saying “you know that I can’t mention any names. We have a process going on.’

Pressed on whether he had anything positive to say about him, McCain quickly said, “Oh, Tim. I’m sorry. He’s a great, fine person.”

McCain told reporters, “he was re-elected in one of the toughest re-election years in the history of the Republican Party. His father, I am pretty sure, drove a truck. He’s a great success story”, adding he has “successfully been able to work across the aisle in Minnesota with the Democrats.”

Bad weather caused McCain to cancel a planned trip to New Orleans Wednesday night, where he was to meet with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Jindal indicated earlier Wednesday he wasn’t interested in the No. 2 spot, but McCain included Jindal in praise of Pawlenty. He said, “He, Bobby Jindal and a number of governors, I think are the future of the Republican Party. The next generation of leadership.”

In an interview later Wednesday, McCain said he had not yet made a final decision on his choice.

McCain is in Ohio Thursday, home state of another potential contender, former Rep. Rob Portman.

Filed under: John McCain • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    I think Gov. Tim Pawlenty would be a fiine choice by Senator McCain.

    He won't help bring Minnesota, and in turn any other upper Midwest state, so I'm all good with Gov. Pawlenty.

    July 23, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Angry Old Warmonger


    Mutter, mutter, mutter ... whoever jumps on his ticket is only limiting his future options... exactly why Jindal backed out.

    July 23, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. McCain = War

    McCain/Pawlenty – ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    July 23, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  4. Erin Schmidtke, Eden Prairie, MN

    As a moderate Democrat, I can't say that Pawlenty was my first choice for governor of Minnesota. However, I don't think that he is a bad person. Of the people that McCain seems to be considering, Pawlenty is a decent option. It could be worse.

    July 23, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  5. ali

    the choice this fall will be between obama and whoever mccain picks for vp.be careful who you choose.

    July 23, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. ron

    What's Up ?
    I thought the media bias to Obama. The only stories are of McCain.

    July 23, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  7. curtis in WI

    Please pick Pawlenty – and kiss the upper midwest goodbye!

    July 23, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  8. rayster


    July 23, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. cricket

    McCain and Pawlenty will need pleeeenty of help.

    July 23, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  10. Dawn in MN

    I hope Pawlenty is the VP choice. That way MN will get rid of him as governor. He never won that office by a majority of votes in MN. He only won because there was a spoiler in the Gov. race for the Democrat candidate. And when we elect President Obama MN will be rid of Pawlenty for good!! Now, we need to get rid of Bush's other shadow, Norm Coleman.

    July 23, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |