01/08/2012 01:19 am ET

New Hampshire Debate Is Mitt Romney's 'Best Performance': Tim Pawlenty (VIDEO)

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Former Minnesota governor and former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty turned up in the spin room after Saturday night's ABC/Yahoo!/WMUR GOP debate, calling it Mitt Romney's "best performance" in a debate so far.

"He was the most presidential, the most forceful on Obama, the most articulate in presenting a positive vision for America and taking the attacks from the other candidates, absorbing them and rising above them and giving it back," Pawlenty said.

Sunday's debate comes just three days before the New Hampshire primary and just four days after former Massachusetts Gov. Romney won the Iowa caucuses by eight-votes.

Since dropping out of the presidential race in August after losing to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in the Ames Straw poll, Pawlenty has become a top supporter for Romney. He officially endorsed him for president in September.

Pawlenty denies any reports of vying to be Romney's vice presidential candidate.