As President Obama heads to Minnesota today, Tim Pawlenty, the state’s former governor and now a national co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign, said he would be “honored” to serve as Romney’s running mate if asked.
“I think I can best serve Mitt in other ways, but obviously anybody would be honored to serve if asked,” Pawlenty told reporters on a conference call this morning.
Pawlenty then noted that as a national co-chairman of Romney’s campaign, “we just don’t talk about the VP process.”
Only three weeks ago Pawlenty flatly stated that he should not be on any list of possible running mates for the GOP presidential hopeful.
“I’m encouraging you to remove my name from the list,” he said in Minneapolis in reference to speculation about Romney’s vice presidential choice.
Pawlenty this morning said the jobs report for May – released today, showing 69,000 jobs created during the month but a rise in the unemployment rate to 8.2 percent – revealed “awful” numbers and served as an indictment of Obama’s economic policies.
“What we see is a president whose policies are hostile to free enterprise, are hostile to job creators,” Pawlenty said.
Asked if he thought the Romney campaign would give up on his home state, he said no, but noted that Minnesota has the longest Democratic presidential winning streak of any state. In fact, according to the University of Minnesota, an Obama victory in November would put the state’s Democratic national winning streak at 10, longer than any state outside of the South.
Pawlenty will travel to North Carolina this weekend to stump for Romney at the Tar Heel state’s GOP convention Saturday.