(RALEIGH, N.C.) — On a day when Mitt Romney surrogates and vice presidential contenders were spread out all over the country, Tim Pawlenty showed two very different sides of himself as a possible running mate.
Dressed in a blue checkered shirt and jeans, he first held a small roundtable with “sports parents” at a local ice rink in Cary, before holding a much larger rally opening a campaign office in Raleigh.
At the Polar Ice Rink, he listened to voters about their concerns and pledged to take them back to the presumptive GOP nominee.
At the rally, it was a much more revved up Pawlenty, one rarely seen during his television appearances on behalf of Romney, attacking President Obama’s record.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing his teleprompter speeches and no results. His big fancy speeches from four years ago and since, those speeches, those words, they don’t put gas in our cars, do they?” Pawlenty asked the crowd, to screams of, “No!”
During the roundtable, one of the parents, Christine Godeaux told Pawlenty she needed to hear more from Romney. In an almost pleading tone she told him because “he’s not Obama” is good enough for her, but not enough to make others vote for the former Massachusetts governor, especially those “afraid of change.”
“I want to know specifically what his plan is,” Godeaux said, adding she wanted to know what Romney was going to do on day one.
ABC News asked Godeaux after if she had seen Romney’s series of “On Day One” ads and she said she had, but it wasn’t enough detail for her.
Pawlenty described his tax plan briefly, but said he didn’t want the crowd’s “eyes to glaze over” before the hockey fan took to the ice for a quick spin. He spent much of his time in the rink coaching some children on ways to stop and gave tips.
ABC News asked Pawlenty afterwards if he agreed with Godeaux that Romney needed to give more.
“His message is a strong message and his story is a good story,” Pawlenty said. “There are certainly voters who want a lot more detail and there’s different ways they can get it. Got to strike that balance when you are only given 30 seconds to respond in media interviews or a brief time to speak on TV shows, but for those who are interested in more detail there are ways to do that and I think the campaign is, particularly when they get into debates, will have an opportunity to get into even more.”
Pawlenty is one of the potential vice presidential picks believed to be on the campaign’s short list, all of whom know their lives will change dramatically if they are selected to be Romney’s running mate in the next month before the Republican National Convention.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN