Presumptive GOP presidential candidate John McCain said today he has still not settled on who he will pick as his vice presidential running mate. "I haven't decided yet so I can't tell you," he told KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh this morning.
There has been speculation that McCain may announce his choice as early as this Friday, in an effort to blunt Sen. Barack Obama's high-profile return to the campaign trail after this week's Democratic convention in Denver.
McCain told KDKA that he will campaign this weekend with two people believed to be on his short list, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but he cautioned against assuming that meant either one would be the pick, The Associated Press reported.
Another purported finalist, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, appeared on "Good Morning America" today, but was tight-lipped when questioned about whether he might be McCain's pick.
Pawlenty, in Denver on behalf of the GOP, did take time to take a crack at Obama's experience.
"Barack Obama has good oratory but there's not much else there," Pawlenty said. "The questions for Senator Obama [are]: What have you done and what have you run? His accomplishments are essentially nonexistent and hasn't run anything."
McCain's Vice Presidential Pick
Among the wild cards complicating attempts to handicap McCain's selection process is the question of where the Arizona senator's pick will stand on abortion. Two abortion rights advocates, Ridge and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, are seemingly on the short list as vice presidential nominees despite the perceived risk on McCain's part, should he pick either, of alienating the conservative core of his party.
While Pawlenty who is anti-abortion rights, acknowledged McCain has said he was open to the idea of selecting an abortion rights supporter, he suggested to "GMA" McCain is unlikey to pick a VP who supports abortion rights.
"I think Senator McCain has said he wants an administration — particularly senior leaders — that reflect his values and principles and vision for the country. He, of course, is a pro-life person," Pawlenty said on "GMA."
"[He] does want an administration that reflects his priorities and values. So that will be up to him and I think he'll pick people who share his agenda and his views," Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty, would not discuss whether or not he had been in contact with McCain about being chosen for his ticket.
"I just can't address it, but we'll all know soon," he said. "I've certainly heard it through news accounts he's having a rally in Ohio tomorrow. Speculation is he'll unveil his running mate there. Beyond that I don't have much to add or say about the vice presidential issue."
Questioning Pawlenty's Experience
Serving his second gubernatorial term, the Minnesota native balked at the idea that he would does not have enough experience to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Pawlenty, who is the same age as Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, said his political resume is much more extensive than the Illinois senator's.
The governor also questioned Bill and Hillary Clintons' support of the candidate, because they implied he wasn't ready to lead during the contentious and extensive primary season.
"Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden all said during the primary season Barack Obama was not ready," Pawlenty said.
"For them to now say he's ready with great enthusiasm is quite hypocritical at least inconsistent with what they said previously," Pawlenty said. "It's amazing that we're three days into the democratic convention and 60 or so days away from the actual election, and they're still trying to plead with the American people or convince us that Barack Obama is ready to be president. The fact of the matter, he is not."
Pawlenty also took aim at the location of Obama's acceptance speech that will occur tonight. Obama will accept the democratic nod for president in Invesco Field at Mile High instead of the Pepsi Center, where the majority of the Democratic National Convention was held.
The home of the Denver Broncos football franchise stadium can seat more than 76,000 people. Critics have taken aim at the classical columns that serve as the backdrop for Obama's speech.
"Well I think it just feeds right in to what Americans are starting to realize, that it's all about celebrity and not much substance. This Roman-like facade is a perfect metaphor or icon for the point that it's an interesting production but behind it there's not much there," Pawlenty said.