March 24th, 2010
11:26 AM ET
12 years ago

Pawlenty no longer attending SRLC

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Tim Pawlenty will not attend the Southern Republican Leadership Conference."](CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will miss a major Republican gathering next month of possible 2012 GOP presidential contenders and instead will attend a welcome home ceremony for troops returning from Iraq, a Pawlenty spokesman tells CNN.

The two-term Minnesota governor, who is considering a bid for his party's presidential nomination in the next election, was scheduled to attend the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal - all considered possible 2012 White House hopefuls - are attending the conference.

Instead of going to New Orleans, Pawlenty will appear at the April 10 welcome home ceremony for the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. The approximate 1,200 troops are finishing a long deployment to Iraq. Pawlenty was also at the unit's sendoff.

"Obviously, the return of these great Americans is more important than politics," says Alex Conant, a Pawlenty spokesman. "We were looking forward to SRLC, but the Governor can't be in two places at once."

The day before the troops' ceremony, Pawlenty will team up with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a political event in Minnesota. Romney, another possible 2012 GOP presidential hopeful, will also not be attending SRLC.

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Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Joanne

    Smiling Tim must of gotten quite an earful after his last absence from Minnesota when an important event was occurring. While he was attending one of these ultra right wing pep fests about a month or so ago a bi-partisan bill was finally hammered out to extend funding for the General Assistance Program which provides assistance to the most vulnerable adults in the state. Rather than being here to do his dirty work he simply called in his veto. The man has NO heart or soul. The only thing this man has created for this state is misery!

    March 24, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Sue, up until a few weeks before the presidential election of Barack Obama, the polls showed McCain leading. I wouldn't put too much weight on polls if I were you.

    Most being polled right now are either teenagers too young to vote or those who, while having an opinion on almost everything, don't ever vote.

    In other words, polls are only as factual as those being polled allow. Hard to base facts over a phone wire.

    March 24, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Ron

    Too late to run and hide now, buddy! You've already given your challengers a lifetime of ads to run against you. It will be very easy for them to point out the loser you are!!

    March 24, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Michelle

    Who cares who is at the SCLC? The Republicans are not acting as Christians, and are showing zero leadership, so this is totally irrelevant to anyone but the people who bother to attend. Did they have to raise the fee to appease the gold digger from Wasilla?

    March 24, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. sharon

    oh don't worry.........ther will be plenty (pawlenty) of time to be in the crowd with the weird folks later...........don't ya know?
    golly...............don't worry.....................sarah might save a place for ya...

    March 24, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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