Republican presidential hopeful and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty doesn’t care whether former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin decides to run for president — but he wishes everybody else would stop speculating about it.

GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said Friday that people should be less worried about Sarah Palin’s political future and more concerned about debating the issues.

Pawlenty was asked about his lagging poll numbers and whether he thinks Palin (R), the former Alaska governor, will enter the field, considering her upcoming nationwide bus tour.

“Who knows? I don’t know if she’s running or not,” Pawlenty said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” during a campaign stop in New York City. “We need to quit worrying about polls and bus tours and get onto the issue of how we’re going to fix the country and get the country back on track.”

It’s too bad that Pawlenty’s not really in a position to say what he said without coming off as threatened — because he does have a point. Personality and presence won’t solve our nation’s problems — and every time a reporter questions a candidate about another presidential potential, the public misses a chance to learn a little more about the candidates’ actual positions. But substantive policy solutions alone won’t win the presidency, either. Who wants to eat cake with no icing?