Pawlenty downplays report on presidential run

Gov. Tim Pawlenty is downplaying a report that he's considering a run for president in 2012.

A news story today said Pawlenty acknowledged in an interview that he was considering seeking the Republican nomination if he gets some traction and some momentum. Pawlenty is not seeking a third term as governor next year.

He has not previously said what he planned to do when his term ended, even though others frequently mention him as a potential GOP presidential candidate.

Pawlenty told MPR News today he has still not made any decisions about his future plans.

"What I've said before, and I just said it a little different in the Bloomberg interview, was I haven't ruled anything out or in," said Pawlenty. "And that includes a whole array of private sector potential choices or interests, as well as public service. But as to whether I may or may not stay in politics, or may or may not be involved on the national level, I just don't know the answer to that."

Pawlenty's national political work continues next week, when he travels to New Jersey to campaign for that state's GOP candidate for governor.

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.

GOP candidate Chris Christie, a former U.S. attorney for New Jersey, is trying to unseat Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in November.

Pawlenty also is heading to Orlando, Fla., to speak to a Republican women's group in September.

Since June, Pawlenty has been traveling on his own to speak about the future of the Republican Party.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)