Pawlenty Tells Piers ‘I’m Running for President,’ Then Blasts CNN for Taking it ‘Out of Context’

Would-be Republican candidate backtracks on 2012 statement in the same interview

A funny thing happened on Piers Morgan's CNN show on Tuesday.

Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, told Morgan that he is running for president in 2012, only to backtrack on that statement moments later in the same interview.

Morgan asked Pawlenty if he would consider a vice presidential bid on Donald Trump's ticket.

"I'm running for president," Pawlenty said. "I'm not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for vice president. I'm focused on running for president."

Pawlenty later clarified his announcement: "I just hope that the country will take the full measure of all the candidates and make an informed decision, I think they will … I've got an exploratory committee up and running and we'll have a final or full announcement on that in the coming weeks. It won't be too much longer. But everything is headed in that direction."

Talk about a flip-flop.

His camp rushed to defend Pawlenty's slip, blasting CNN — which promoted it as breaking news — for taking it "out of context."

Not entirely sure how "I'm running for president" could be taken out of context, but judge for yourself: