Pawlenty knocks Obama over jobs numbers

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty says President Obama’s visit to Minnesota is an opportunity to discuss the Obama’s “dismal” impact on the nation’s job market.

On a conference call with reporters before Obama’s visit, Pawlenty, who dropped his own bid for the White House before the Iowa caucuses, said the disappointing May job numbers released today are a signal the president’s policies aren’t working.

“What we see is a president whose policies are hostile to free enterprise, are hostile to job creators and are not only not sparking the kind of economic recovery and the pace that we hope for and need in America,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty said Republican Mitt Romney has a better plan to improve the nation’s job market.

Pawlenty, who is a national surrogate for Romney, said he doesn’t think Romney is giving up on winning Minnesota but acknowledged the state hasn’t voted for a Republican for president since 1972.

Pawlenty also said he’d “be honored” to serve if asked to be Romney’s running mate.

“As a national co-chair of Romney’s campaign, we just don’t talk about the VP process,” Pawlenty said. “I think I can best serve him in other ways as a volunteer and otherwise but obviously anybody, if asked to serve, would be honored to do it.”

Pawlenty was vying to be John McCain’s running mate in 2008, but McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin instead.

Pawlenty says he’ll travel to North Carolina tonight to speak at the North Carolina Republican Party Convention.

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