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Hannity

Tim Pawlenty addresses Romney VP rumors

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 7, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Veepstakes are running wild as Mitt Romney's bombshell announcement is likely to happen this week or next. Now the short list seems to evolve with each passing day.

But one man who has consistently been at or near the top of the list, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. And with Governor Pawlenty's strong record and his ability to appeal to voters across the board, it would not be a surprise we saw a Romney-Pawlenty ticket.

Joining me now to talk about that possibility, the man himself, former Minnesota governor, presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty.

All right, Governor. Come on. What do you know? Help us out here.

TIM PAWLENTY, ROMNEY SUPPORTER: I think we are just going to spill the beans here on "Hannity"?

HANNITY: Well, that's insulting! "You think we are going to spill it on your show?" What does that mean?! Of course you should spill it here.

PAWLENTY: If there were beans to spill, this would be a great place to spill it, Sean. But as you know, from interviewing many other guests, the Romney campaign, we have a policy of not talking about the VP process.

As was mentioned earlier in the show, Governor Romney has great people to pick from, great bench strength in the conservative movement, Suzanna Martinez, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Bob McDonnell, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, David Petraeus and more.

So he can't make a bad pick. He has tremendous, tremendous people to pick from.

HANNITY: You know, it's funny. It's interesting. I actually agree with you. I think we have a pretty deep bench. Historically, one of the important roles of a VP is being prepared. But more importantly, one of the important roles is that you have to go out and attack.

Are ready for that, considering, let's see Mitt Romney has pretty much been accused of murder in the last 24 hours -- of being a murderer, being a felon having not paid taxes for 10 years, being a racist. How would you counter that if you were the VP candidate?

PAWLENTY: Well, whether you are the presidential or the VP candidate or any leader in this conservative movement, one of the responsibilities and opportunities we have to say why Barack Obama should be terminated from his job. He doesn't deserve re-election.

And you have to make the case why he has failed as a president. It's not hard to do, Sean. I mean, a third grader could do this. We have an economy that's in massive trouble. We got 23 million Americans unemployed, under-employed, can't find work. Half of our high school graduates and college graduates can't find a job. We have a president who has never been connect to the private sector and says things like if you own a business, you didn't build that.

I mean, it is an easy case to make why Barack Obama shouldn't be re- elected president of the United States. By the way, you know, he made all of these great, big promises, broke most of them, and hope and change has become bait and switch.

HANNITY: Do you think that the president -- because I agree with everything you are saying, obviously. We have been kind of leading the case against Obama. Do you think the country really understands what is at stake here? Do you think it's going to be a hard case to make?

For example, could your state go red? Could Wisconsin go red? Are you confident in Ohio and Iowa and New Hampshire and New Mexico and Nevada, Florida?

PAWLENTY: You don't take anything for granted. Look, these are the swing states and others that you mentioned where a lot of tension is going to be and should be because that the states that are not so predisposed to go one way or the other.

But the American people are not dumb. They are wise. They won't want to be duped twice. You had somebody who stood before them in 2008 and made big promises, things like he was going to cut the deficit in half in the first term. He didn't do that. He nearly tripled it.

He said he was going to do health care reform on a bipartisan basis. He broke that promise too and stiff armed and shoved the Republicans aside. He said if he doesn't get unemployment and the economy turned around, he should have a one-term proposition. We agree, he should go. And down the list.

So these big speeches, Sean, these big speeches that he gives, they don't put gas in the car. They don't pay the mortgage. They don't pay the grocery bill. They don't take care of your kids' college. We can't eat and live on his teleprompter speeches. That's not working, people have figured it out.

HANNITY: Do you think the president has lost his likeability by going so negative and allowing his surrogates to be so negative?

PAWLENTY: Well, he hasn't lost it totally, as the numbers and Frank Luntz and others would say. But he certainly is losing it in increments each day.

The ads that you showed earlier where you have a gentleman who is obviously hurting from the loss of his wife and then to have the Super PAC, the Obama Super PAC exploit that to the point where they factually lie about the Mitt Romney's time in that company.

In other words, he had already left Bain by the time they made at this time decision to close the plant --

HANNITY: We have to run, Governor.

PAWLENTY: That's not befitting of the office and it reflects a campaign and a Super PAC agenda that is not befitting of the country.

HANNITY: Governor, thanks for being with us.

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