POSTED: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 1:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 9:14am
CNN — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday beat back speculation that Mitt Romney needed a "flashy" running mate, saying instead the presumptive GOP nominee should pick a more serious number two.
"We have a lot of people who are entertaining, who can light their hair on fire or whatever, but the bottom line is these are serious times, we need seasoned experienced people who get the job done," Pawlenty said on Fox News.
Pressed by Fox anchor Neil Cavuto if Pawlenty considers New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as someone "who lights their hair on fire," the former governor said he was referring to President Barack Obama when he made his comment.
"Barack Obama gives us this soaring rhetoric last time, soaring rhetoric, and it turned out to be a bunch of empty promises," he said.
Pawlenty, a former 2012 presidential candidate, is widely considered to be on Romney's list for veep contenders. Also thought to be on the list are the very vocal Gov. Christie as well as Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who has been criticized by some for having a less-than-animated personality.
Talking about his own credentials, Pawlenty pointed to his record as governor and added he can be relatively entertaining.
"I'm not as flashy as some, but compared to some others, I think I'm right in there," he said. "But nonetheless, I'm not defending it one way or the other. I'm just saying, people - rhetoric and teleprompter and jokes and that kind of stuff doesn't put gas in our cars."
Cavuto then asked if Pawlenty could sing.
"No, I can't sing very well," he said. I'm sorry."
CNN's Ashley Killough and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.
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