Pawlenty says he remains 'politically retired' amid speculation about Senate bid

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) demurred on Tuesday when asked if he planned on running for Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPolitical world mourns loss of comedian Jerry Stiller Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: ‘Why wait until Biden is our only hope?’ Democrats begin to confront Biden allegations MORE’s (D-Minn.) Senate seat in 2018, repeating a past assertion that he is “politically retired.”

“Chris, I’m politically retired and if that changes, you’ll be among the first to know,” Pawlenty told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.”

Pawlenty also said that Franken made the right decision in announcing his plan to resign from the Senate in the face of sexual misconduct allegations.


Multiple women have accused Franken of forcibly kissing them or touching them inappropriately during photo opportunities.

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Franken announced last week in a defensive and, at times, defiant speech on the Senate floor that he will step down in the coming weeks. His resignation came as a number of powerful men in politics, media, entertainment and beyond face allegations of sexual impropriety.

Since then, a number of individuals have been floated as potential contenders for his seat, including Pawlenty. 

Pawlenty’s remarks on Tuesday echoed those he made last week, when he told reporters that he was “reflecting” on Franken’s resignation and his political future, but remained “politically retired.”

Pawlenty served two terms as governor of Minnesota before leaving office in 2011 and mounting a brief bid for the GOP’s presidential nomination.

He currently serves as the president and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, a lobbying organization representing banks, credit card companies and other financial services companies.



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