MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – We’re getting closer to the November elections, and we could find out by the end of the week who Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will choose to be his running mate.

Political experts have hinted that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is one of the leading candidates for vice president. Pawlenty appeared on CBS This Morning on Wednesday and was asked about several political topics, including his chances at being named the vice president.

Pawlenty defended Romney’s refusal to make a wide-ranging release of his tax returns, arguing “there is no claim or no credible indication” he’s done anything wrong.

Pawlenty, whose name has figured prominently in speculation about the Republican vice presidential selection process, told “CBS This Morning” he thinks the news media have been obsessed by questions surrounding Romney’s taxes. And he accuses President Barack Obama of “hanging shiny objects before the public and the press, and the press is taking the bait.”

The former two-term Minnesota governor called releasing two years’ of returns “the standard for Republican nominees.” Pawlenty says, “I don’t think there’s any secret to the fact that Mitt Romney has been successful and he’s achieved success and he’s paid a lot of taxes.”

The last question Pawlenty faced was on if he could shed any light on who the vice president might be. He said the timing of the decision has not been discussed and he doesn’t know anything yet. He also said there will be plenty of notice when a decision is made.

A Romney campaign adviser tells the Associated Press a decision could come by the end of this week. Pawlenty has been actively campaigning for Romney, since he ended his own presidential bid.

WCCO-TV made attempts to contact Pawlenty Wednesday morning, but those requests were declined.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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