RALEIGH, NC -- What's a folksy, blue-collar pitch from a Midwestern pol without a good beer analogy?
Appearing at a GOP Victory office opening in swing state North Carolina, Tim Pawlenty on Saturday compared the President Barack Obama's lofty rhetoric of hope and change to the unsatisfying byproduct of a poor-quality keg of an adult beverage.
"We got a problem because we've got a president who's all foam and no beer," declared the former Minnesota governor and top GOP VP pick.
The crowd of about 300 supporters roared.
"I don't know about you but I'm tired of hearing these teleprompter speeches and no results!" he said. "You know his big fancy speeches from four years ago; those speeches, those words don't put gas in our cars do they? And his teleprompter speeches don't pay the mortgage do they?"
Pawlenty, who hours before had talked policy details at a roundtable and given young hockey fans tips on the skating rink, was visibly energized and almost raspy-voiced as he berated the president on behalf of the presumptive GOP nominee, who remains abroad this weekend.
Mitt Romney, a Mormon, does not drink alcohol
"We need to grow this economy and quit kicking our entrepreneurs and small business leaders like President Obama does in the shins every day," he said.
Numerous vice presidential prospects, including Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Gov. Bobby Jindalof Louisiana, are stumping for Romney over the coming days. Pawlenty told reporters after his Raleigh appearance that he doesn't see this weekend as an audition for the job.
"I've been out doing this sort of thing since last fall and I get a call once in a while from the campaign saying, 'hey, do you have any free time next week to go be a surrogate?' " he said. "This is consistent with that pattern so it's really no different than what I've been doing for the campaign since last fall."
He declined to speak further about the vetting process, joking that he's been busy around the house.
"I've been taking care of yard work, doing my other work, trying to deal with family matters," he said.
"And trying to get the garage cleaned up. My garage is a mess."