Touring Cabinet Factory, Pawlenty Deflects Question on Romney Cabinet

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Waterford, Mich.-On the road stumping for Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty toured a cabinet factory here … which of course led to the question of a Romney cabinet position.

The question was posed just after a tour of the factory, as workers listened to a sound system blaring Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" and Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady." When the music was turned down, Pawlenty suggested his disappointment: "Now we can't hear 'Dude Looks Like a Lady.'"

But he still didn't answer the question, which he called "lame" (with a chuckle). He's "just happy to help [Romney] as a volunteer."

The former Minnesota governor is believed to be on Mitt Romney's short list of running mates and there is speculation that the choice could be made any day. But if he is passed over, then what will he do?

"You know we're focused on trying to convey Gov. Romney's message and the campaign," Pawlenty said. "It would be presumptuous and premature for people to be talking about positions down the road…I'm happy to be working in the private sector and on other projects, so beyond that I don't have any plans."

Pawlenty serves on some company boards, but because he's no longer governor he seems an obvious choice for a cabinet position if Romney were to be elected. Unlike some of the others on the short list, like Rob Portman and Paul Ryan, Pawlenty would not have to make the hard decision to leave a senate or congressional seat if asked to fill a secretary position.

Pawlenty toured Accurate Woodworking and Cabinetry, owned by brothers Rick and Michael Kowall, on Thursday and greeted supporters who gathered at the store for his visit. He shook hands with the crowd asking them about their respective business and the economic struggles many were facing.

He asked one commercial realtor how his business was going. "It sucks" was the response.

Pawlenty fundraises for Romney today in Michigan before traveling to New Hampshire tomorrow for a five-state party and Romney events in New Hampshire.

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