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VIDEO: Pawlenty says he won’t accept a VP nomination

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has recently been heralded by conservative pundits who regret his early departure from the GOP presidential race, told MSNBC Thursday that he won’t accept a vice presidential position.

Pawlenty dropped his bid for the GOP presidential nomination following a third-place finish in the August Iowa Straw Polls. An endorsement of Mitt Romney’s campaign led to speculation that he was gunning for the vice presidential spot.

MSNBC host host Lawrence O’Donnell proposed that Pawlenty is Romney’s best prospect for a vice presidential candidate.

“I’ve already said publicly and repeatedly, that’s not something I’m going to consider,” Pawlenty said. ”He’s going to have a lot of great people to pick from as a vice presidential candidates, I’m sure he’ll make a great pick, it will be a great balanced ticket, but that’s not something I’m going to consider.”

Pawlenty said the “bench strength of the Republican Party and conservative movement is incredible,” citing vice presidential prospects for politicians like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen to be John McCain’s running mate over Pawlenty in the 2008 race.

**Video: ***Pawlenty discusses his decision not to pursue or accept a vice presidential offer around the 11:00 mark. *

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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