Pawlenty Says He's Told Romney to Look Elsewhere for Potential VP

Tim Pawlenty is being seen as a potential running mate for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, but the former Minnesota governor said on Sunday he can best serve as a "volunteer" for his former rival.

"I can best serve Gov. Romney in other ways, in particular, as a volunteer and surrogate speaker in places where he can't go," Pawlenty said during an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" show Sunday.

"I've encouraged people ... in the campaign to look at other prospects but, obviously, anybody who would be asked to serve in a position like that would be honored to be asked," he added, possibly keeping the option open. "But I – I really encourage folks to look at other prospects and to suggest I think I can help him best in other ways."

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Pawlenty was in Park City, Utah, this past weekend for a retreat of Romney donors and supporters. He described the event as "a gathering of some of Governor Romney's and Ann Romney's best friends and supporters and family members to give them a campaign update and a briefing, not just on the campaign but on issues, so that they feel informed and also can share that information with their networks and colleagues to get out the vote and get other people to support."

Pawlenty, who dropped out of the Republican presidential race in August 2011 and quickly supported Romney, also said President Barack Obama had been "absent on some of the most pressing financial issues of the day."

Referring to Medicare and Medicaid, Pawlenty went on to say, "I'll come to your house, Bob Schieffer, and mow your lawn if you can find President Obama's specific proposals on reforming entitlements in this country. So let's hold him accountable as well."

Asked about Romney's tax reforms, he responded by saying, "So he hasn't put out a specific plan to eliminate any of the particular deductions within the tax code, but he has talked pretty specifically how he would reform, reduce, and cut down government responding overall and help put the country on a pathway to a balanced budget."

Pawlenty is among others being mentioned as Romney's Romney VP prospects, including Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

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