Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Monday that he's out of the running to be John McCain's vice presidential nominee.
Thune, an early McCain supporter who has been a mouthpiece for the campaign, said he has not given the campaign any personal documents used to vet prospective running mates.
"I've talked to (the McCain campaign) a little bit about the issue but certainly not about me being in that mix," he said of the selection process. "I would say I'm out of the running."
There has been some speculation that Thune, 47, was an attractive prospect for the McCain ticket, partly because of his relative youth and his successful campaign to oust Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota in 2004.
Thune said he will be taking his daughter to her Minnesota college on Friday before he attends the GOP convention in Minneapolis next week. A McCain announcement could come by the end of this week.
He said that Democrat Barack Obama's selection of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden will allow McCain to be freer in his choice of a vice presidential nominee because Obama didn't choose someone who was a Washington outsider or someone who could bring in a lot of electoral votes from their home state.
"I do think it really steps on (Obama's) change message," Thune said of Obama's choice of Biden, who has been in the Senate since 1972.
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