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Pawlenty not McCain's choice for VP

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in Denver at the DNC
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke in Denver, where the Democratic National Convention is being held, to support Republican Candidate John McCain.
MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was not chosen by presidential candidate John McCain to be his running mate. Instead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. 

Pawlenty hosted his weekly radio show from the Minnesota State Fair this morning. In a radio interview earlier in the day, Pawlenty said it was a "fair assumption" that he was not chosen. 

Waiting outside
Reporters waited outside the Governor's Mansion Friday morning. MPR has confirmed Gov. Pawlenty will not be John McCain's running mate.
MPR photo/Tom Weber

"All I can say is that I'm not going to be there and I plan on being at the state fair and you can draw your conclusions from that. I just can't comment further at this time," Pawlenty said. 

McCain is expected to announce his running mate at an 11 a.m.  rally in Dayton, Ohio, and various sources have confirmed that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is McCain's choice.

There was heightened speculation that Pawlenty could be the pick when he abruptly canceled several interviews in Denver and returned to Minnesota on Thursday.

Mansion watch
Members of the local media line the gate of the governor's mansion in St Paul hoping for a glimpse of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, even after he stated he would not be in Dayton, Ohio for the announcement of a running-mate for GOP Presidential candidate John McCain
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

Pawlenty co-chairs McCain's campaign for president and has heavily campaigned for him over the past year. Pawlenty was in Denver on Thursday to offer the GOP response to the Democratic National Convention. 

He also campaigned in the critical swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania last weekend. When asked if he was disappointed, Pawlenty said it "was an honor to be considered."

"I'm just happy for Senator McCain. I think he's a great leader. I didn't set out to help him because of any need or desire. It's an honor to be considered but my motivation and desire to see him elected doesn't change."