Pawlenty appraises 2016 GOP contest as between Bush, Walker

Published 10:13 am Monday, March 16, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — One-time presidential hopeful and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty sees the contest for the GOP’s nomination coming down to Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.

Pawlenty appraised the field Friday at a University of Minnesota forum, where he looked back on his own fateful run and declared himself “politically retired.”

He says Bush, the former Florida governor from a presidential family, is a fundraising force locking down plenty of support from key factions of the party. But Pawlenty says Walker has a national following and fundraising network from his effort to repel at Wisconsin governor recall campaign. He adds that Walker has appeal within segments of the party that have mistrust of Bush.

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Pawlenty is staying on the sidelines. He’s currently in charge of a financial-industry trade group in Washington.