Tim Pawlenty endorses Mitt Romney

Rachel Rose Hartman

Former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty endorsed Mitt Romney for president Monday morning, highlighting the former Massachusetts governor's experience in business as well as leading his home state.

"There's one candidate in this race who's unmatched in his skills and experience and talent when it comes to turning around this economy and growing jobs, and that's Mitt Romney," Pawlenty said. "And I'm proud and excited to endorse him for president of the United States. I believe he's going to be our party's nominee and I think he's going to be transformational and great president for this country."

Pawlenty, a former governor of Minnesota who dropped out of the presidential race last month following a poor showing at the Ames Straw Poll, referred to Romney as a "turnaroud person" who possesses valuable experience growing businesses and jobs. "His experience in the private sector amongst these candidates is unmatched," Pawlenty said of the 2012 field.

You can watch Pawlenty offer his endorsement below:

Pawlenty's endorsement won't send Romney a large influx of supporters since Pawlenty was sinking in the polls when he exited the race and many of his active supporters may have already moved on. But the endorsement does add weight to Romney's perceived frontrunner status and offers his campaign a symbolic boost.

Romney's campaign announced Monday that Pawlenty will now serve as a national co-chair of the Romney campaign. Romney also spoke glowingly of his former competitor.

"It is an honor to have Governor Pawlenty's support," Mitt Romney said in a statement. "Tim will be a trusted adviser as I move forward with my campaign. Tim has always been an advocate for lower taxes, reduced spending, and an environment where jobs can be created. It is an honor to have him serve as Co-Chair to my campaign for the presidency."

Pawlenty said Romney's experience in Massachusetts creating jobs and balancing budgets despite a Democratic legislature also fueled his decision to endorse.

Asked on "Fox and Friends" if his advisory role signals Pawlenty is taking himself out of the running to join the Romney ticket, Pawlenty agreed.

"I'm not going to consider being V.P.," Pawlenty said, noting that he was on John McCain's short list in 2008. "I was down that path once before with John McCain and I'm not even going to consider that. So I'm going to do what I can to help Mitt in this race, but that won't be part of the future for me."

Host Brian Kilmeade noted that Dick Cheney said the same thing ahead of the 2000 election, sparking laughter from Pawlenty and Kilmeade's co-hosts.