On FOX News' Greta Van Susteren Wednesday night, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he knows that he can't boss Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, into filing an anti-health care overhaul lawsuit but he'd like to.
"My attorney general...In Minnesota, the only person who can bring a suit is the attorney general. She is thinking about it, hasn't decided yet but we're certainly asking her to do it," Pawlenty said.
"So, you can't just boss her around as governor?" Van Susteren asked.
"I could but she wouldn't listen, independently elected office. But I think the legal merits -- when you have up to 15 other states and attorney generals saying there is merit for this, something that can and should be done. She said today she going to consider it. She didn't say no out of the gate. I'm hopeful she's going to say yes," he replied.
Pawlenty also dodged the question about whether he is running for president but did explain why he would run if he did decide to run:
"What interests me is trying to serve my country. I think we have a country that is in grave trouble. We need to have certain people step forward and say, look there are values and principles that made this country great. They are currently be diluted. They are currently being corroded, and we have to get back to a direction that this country was built on. Individual responsibility, markets, entrepreneurial incentives, people growing private sector jobs and not having everything come on the business, excuse me, on the government side of it. And what we need to do is have people come forward and say, look, this country is in trouble and we to lead, and we people to do that. I don't know if I'm going to do that or not. I've been doing that as governor, we'll see if I take it to the next step."
Here's the video of the exchange:
Peripatetic Pawlenty will be speaking to New Hampshire Republicans Thursday night -- his second trip to that early voting state since announcing he wouldn't run for a third term. Next month, he'll also be taking his second trip to Iowa, which very coincidentally also makes its presidential selection very early.
The governor did cancel another political trip he had -- to Louisiana in early April for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Although the conference has attracted many GOP stars, their lights might have shone a bit too brightly for Pawlenty to steal some spotlight.