“I’m running for president,” Pawlenty said in an interview Tuesday on “Piers Morgan Tonight.” “I’m not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for vice president. I’m focused on running for president.”
Pawlenty was responding to a hypothetical question if he would serve as Donald Trump’s vice president if Trump received the GOP nomination in 2012.
Pawlenty, who announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee last month, told Morgan moments later that he will make a formal presidential announcement “in the coming weeks.”
As for foreign policy, Mr. Trump said he is “only interested in Libya if we take the oil,” and that if he were President, “I would not leave Iraq and let Iran take over the oil.” He remains sharply critical of the Chinese, asserting that as President, “I would tell China that you’re either going to shape up, or I’m going to tax you at 25% for all the products you send into this country.”
“I’m all for free trade, but it’s got to be fair trade,” he said. “China has taken advantage of this country for a long time.” Regarding the $300 billion he said China stands to make from trade with the U.S. this year, Mr. Trump said, “What’s protectionism? …I want to be protected if that’s the case.” As for pending trade deals with Colombia, Korea and other countries, he said he would only sign them if they were the right deals for the U.S. “If it’s a bad deal, I wouldn’t sign it,” he said.
As for whether his candidacy is an elaborate hoax, or a publicity stunt, Mr. Trump said, “I don’t need to do this for ratings on the Apprentice. This is too important, our country is in trouble, our country is not being properly led. It needs help.”