During Monday night's GOP debate, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) made the first and only mention of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), praising her and saying she is qualified to be president.

Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, was asked who made the better choice for vice president in 2008, Obama by choosing then-Sen. Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE or Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate's defense authorization would set cyber doctrine Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE's (R-Ariz.) selection of Palin.

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The Minnesotan originally focused his comments on Biden, criticizing his Iraq policy, but then turned to praise Palin.

"I think Gov. Palin is a remarkable leader; she is more than qualified to be president of the United States," he said.

Palin, a potential candidate who could shake up the race, was not present for the debate and was hardly mentioned by the moderators or the candidates onstage.