Pawlenty says not joining McCain for VP announcement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, among the contenders to be Republican John McCain’s vice presidential candidate, said he would not be with McCain in Ohio on Friday when he announces his running mate.

Pawlenty, 47, a two-term governor, had been in Denver this week to help provide counterattacks as the Democrats held their convention to nominate Barack Obama as their presidential candidate for the November 4 election. There had been speculation that Pawlenty would be at McCain’s rally Friday in Dayton, Ohio, when the Arizona senator introduced his running mate.

But on Friday Pawlenty told Minneapolis radio station WCCO-AM: “All I can say is that I’m not going to be there and I plan on being at the (Minnesota) State Fair and so you can draw your conclusions from that. I just can’t comment further at this time..”

Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Jackie Frank