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Monday, January 15, 2007
Pawlenty to co-chair McCain's exploratory committee
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Monday he will co-chair Sen. John McCain's presidential exploratory committee.

The announcement came on CNN contributor Bill Bennett's radio show, "Morning in America."

"In my view we've got a chance to elect a once in a generation leader in Sen. McCain," Pawlenty said. "The times call out certain leaders at certain times and I think the Country for obvious reasons needs a leader like him."

Pawlenty, who recently won reelection in the Midwestern swing state by less than 23,000 votes, said McCain has the ability to appeal to a broad range of voters.

"The party needs him," Pawlenty said. "We just got our tails kicked in the last election, and I think he represents enough of a populist streak that has that appeal to the country broadly and puts us in a chance to win in '08 -- a good chance to win."

Minnesota will play host to the GOP's 2008 National Convention.

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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