Pawlenty not McCain's choice for VPby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
Dayton, Ohio — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was not chosen by presidential candidate John McCain to be his running mate. Instead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Pawlenty hosted his weekly radio show from the Minnesota State Fair this morning. In a radio interview earlier in the day, Pawlenty said it was a "fair assumption" that he was not chosen.
"All I can say is that I'm not going to be there and I plan on being at the state fair and you can draw your conclusions from that. I just can't comment further at this time," Pawlenty said.
McCain is expected to announce his running mate at an 11 a.m. rally in Dayton, Ohio, and various sources have confirmed that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is McCain's choice.
There was heightened speculation that Pawlenty could be the pick when he abruptly canceled several interviews in Denver and returned to Minnesota on Thursday.
Pawlenty co-chairs McCain's campaign for president and has heavily campaigned for him over the past year. Pawlenty was in Denver on Thursday to offer the GOP response to the Democratic National Convention.
He also campaigned in the critical swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania last weekend. When asked if he was disappointed, Pawlenty said it "was an honor to be considered."
"I'm just happy for Senator McCain. I think he's a great leader. I didn't set out to help him because of any need or desire. It's an honor to be considered but my motivation and desire to see him elected doesn't change."
- Morning Edition, 08/29/2008, 7:20 a.m.
Tom Scheck covers politics and government for MPR News.
Tim Pugmire covers politics and state government for MPR News.