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Pawlenty Passed Over, but Still Praises McCain

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty tonight extolled Republican presidential nominee John McCain, showing no evidence of bitterness over McCain’s decision to tap Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Pawlenty was a finalist for the job, with some reports saying he was the final runner-up.

Pawlenty, in brief remarks at the convention, called McCain “the very best our country has to offer” — a “tough” and “compassionate” man who is admired by the troops. “I’ve gotten to know John, and I can tell you he is a Purple Heart recipient with a heart of gold,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty also offered himself as a surrogate for attacking Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. “In this time, we don’t need a president who can just read a poll or momentarily thrill a crowd,” Pawlenty said.