Tim Pawlenty not ruling out joining GOP ticket

TIM PAWLENTYseth wenig/associated press/file

After telling political observers Monday to “remove my name from the list” of potential Mitt Romney running mates, Tim Pawlenty sounded more open to joining the Republican presidential ticket on Thursday.

“He’s going to have a lot of great people to pick from,” Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, said on MSNBC. “Obviously, anyone would be honored to serve if asked.”

Pawlenty became a co-chair of Romney’s campaign after abandoning his own bid for the White House last August. Asked if he is being vetted by Beth Myers, the Romney aide leading the vice presidential search process, Pawlenty did not say yes or no.


“The Romney campaign has a policy ... that we don’t talk about the vice presidential policy, in terms of timing, whether it relates to me or anyone else or the other aspects of that, so that’s just something we’re going to leave for another day and another time,” he said.

Pawlenty was on John McCain’s short list of vice presidential possibilities in 2008 but was not selected. He told Fox News last month that he was “honored to be considered and vetted” but that he was “not going to go down that road this time.”

Reinterpreting his earlier remarks Thursday, Pawlenty said, “What I tried to project in some earlier interviews is to say, look, he’s going to have a lot of great people to pick from, I think I can best help him in other ways, but obviously I’ll do whatever I can to help him defeat Barack Obama.”

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.