Tim Pawlenty jokes red-hot smokin' wife could end presidential ambitions

Tim Pawlenty on "Today."

Tim Pawlenty on "Today."

Tim Pawlenty told Meredith Viera on the Today show this morning to say that the only person standing in the way of his decision to run for the White House in 2012 would be Mary, his wife.

After pointing out that the CPAC convention starting this morning in Washington, D.C., marks the unofficial start of the 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest, and that Pawlenty is scheduled to appear there, Viera wanted to know why he didn't just jump into the ring now.

VIERA: You have made it clear that you are seriously considering running, that you're going to make up your mind sometime between now and maybe March, April. But at this point, what would keep you from running?

PAWLENTY: My wife.

VIERA? Is she saying yes, is she saying go do it?

PAWLENTY: No. I really am just teasing. It comes down to two things, really. What are the needs of the country and what do I bring to that.

VIERA: Well, you've figured that out by now.

PAWLENTY: Secondly, it's a deeply personal decision because the burdens it places on a family are not insignificant. She's fully supportive. I love her very much. But it is a burden on a family.

T-Paw likes to refer to Mary as his "red-hot smokin' wife." Here's an example.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy