Tim Pawlenty out as vice-presidential hope?

Ever since Tim Palenty withdrew early from the Republican nomination race, he seems to have been auditioning for the vice-president’s slot. I thought that he could be a likely choice, having views that are extremely conservative, enough to placate the party’s rabid base, but also able to project an amiable persona that would not alienate the rest of the electorate too much. Indeed it was for these very qualities that I was surprised that John McCain did not pick him in 2008 over Sarah Palin.

But this report from the Guardian suggests that Pawlenty has a problem in his background with regards to not releasing his tax returns.

The touting of Tim Pawlenty as potential running-mate for Mitt Romney has reignited questions over his refusal as governor of Minnesota to release tax returns during a scandal over payments from a company owned by a close political ally.

Pawlenty continued to refuse to release his tax returns by saying that to do so would be to “reward reckless behaviour” by his opponents in levelling allegations against him.

Asked by the Guardian if he would make the relevant tax returns public if Romney selects him as the Republicans’ vice-presidential candidate, Pawlenty said he would not because they had already been reviewed by the Minnesota legal authorities.

I think that this means that Pawlenty is definitely out. Romney may think that he can put out the fire over not releasing his tax returns if he stonewalls long enough. (See here for a list of 10 possible reasons Romney may not want to release his returns). It would be madness for him to pick a running mate whose selection would only re-ignite that same question.


  1. ImaginesABeach says

    I wouldn’t write Pawlenty off just yet. He managed to get reelected in Minnesota despite the fact that Minnesota is a very blue state and despite the fact that the Democrats tried to use that against him. He has a life story (from a blue collar family, pulled himself up by his bootstraps, etc) that would be a good counter-balance to Romney’s rich dude story. Pawlenty’s positions are as rightwing as any Republican could hope for, but he manages to portray himself as a reasonable fellow.

    I was happy when Pawlenty dropped out of the presidential race, because he scares me more than Michele Bachmann. She is obviously crazy rightwing conservative – Pawlenty is sneaky about it.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    It would be madness …

    How long since a puny consideration like stopped a Republican from doing anything?

  3. Corvus illustris says

    That “Minnesota is a very blue state” is certainly true historically–but is it still true? Al Franken won by a gnat’s whisker, and then there are the examples of Bachmann and Pawlenty. I would have found it very hard to believe that Wisconsin (with conspicuous Socialist office-holders not that long ago) could have gone the way it has done recently. (Never mind Michigan, aspiring to be the Mississippi of the North.) More info?

  4. ImaginesABeach says

    Minnesota swung reddish in 2010, electing 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats as US Representatives and giving control of both houses of the legislature to the Republicans (while electing a Democrat governor) but I’m not convinced it will stay red. Wisconsin has been a swing state for a long time, Minnesota has only voted for the Republican presidential candidate once since 1960 (Nixon in ’72).

  5. says

    Good morning Mano,

    You just made the best case yet for Willard Mitt Romney selecting Pawlenty as his running mate:

    It would be madness for him to pick a running mate whose selection would only re-ignite that same question.

    Do all you can to make today a good day,



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