MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said Monday he wants off speculators’ lists of potential running mates for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. He’s not even sure a Cabinet post sounds all that appealing.

The former two-term Minnesota governor emphatically denied any interest in joining the ticket following a policy-heavy speech at the University of Minnesota.

“If you’re a pundit, a journalist, an observer,” he said, “I’m encouraging you to remove my name from the list.”

Pawlenty went through GOP nominee John McCain’s vetting process in 2008 and was considered a finalist when the Arizona senator selected then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

To be sure, past vice presidential prospects have feigned disinterest before voluntarily submitting to the vetting process later on.

At this time last year, Pawlenty was gearing up to launch his own White House bid. He ended that just a few months after kicking it off because of a disappointing showing in an Iowa test vote.

Pawlenty has toured the country on Romney’s behalf since endorsing his former rival last fall. Pawlenty was dismissive but wouldn’t rule out a potential Cabinet role in a Romney administration.

“A lot of former governors who went on to be Cabinet members came back from that experience underwhelmed,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty now serves on several corporate boards. He said he has no immediate plans to re-enter public life as a candidate, though he didn’t close the door to a bid for Minnesota governor or U.S. senator in 2014.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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