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Pawlenty coming to NH to campaign for Romney

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 09. 2012 6:46PM



MANCHESTER - One of the potential running mates for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, returns to the Granite State this weekend to campaign on Romney's behalf.

Pawlenty noted he lived through the veepstakes four years ago, when John McCain passed him over in favor of Sarah Palin.

'It's an honor to be mentioned and considered. We won't know until Gov. Romney makes his choice,' Pawlenty said earlier this week in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Pawlenty sought the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and although he campaigned somewhat in the Granite State, he placed most of his effort on Iowa. He dropped out of the race in August 2011 after finishing third in a non-binding straw poll in Iowa.

Pawlenty is expected to arrive in New Hampshire tonight and then spend a day on the ground Saturday. His most visible appearance will be in the morning at the New Hampshire Young Republican annual convention at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College.

He's also expected to go knocking on doors in Manchester, appear at a Republican ice cream social at 1800 Elm St., Manchester, and attend a backyard barbecue in Derry.

Pawlenty would not discuss the vetting process that he's gone through with the Romney campaign, including how many years of tax returns he's had to submit.

'We don't want the election won or lost on old tax returns or old college transcripts,' Pawlenty said. The Romney campaign's focus is jobs and the economy, he said.

He said Romney has released his 2010 tax return and an estimate of last year's return, but Democrats and some Republicans have said he should release more. Other Republicans have countered that Obama should release his college transcripts.

'Why does Pawlenty think Romney should get to vet him, but the American people shouldn't get to vet Romney?' said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley.

Pawlenty said the limited government, individual responsibility ethos of New Hampshire conflicts with Obama's government-centered approach to problem solving.

New Hampshire polls show Romney and Obama in a virtual tie, with the Democratic President's approval rating dropping.

'For an incumbent President to have these soft numbers, approval numbers as low as he does, indicates the country's not happy with him,' Pawlenty said.

Buckley said both Romney and Pawlenty are failed governors who left their states in financial disarray and with piles of debt.

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Mark Hayward may be reached at mhayward@unionleader.com.


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