August 6th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Potential McCain VP pick slams Obama's 'life oratory'

Gov. Pawlenty spoke at the National Press Club Wednesday.
Gov. Pawlenty spoke at the National Press Club Wednesday.

(CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is widely rumored to be on Sen. John McCain’s short list of potential vice presidential picks, displayed his skills as a political attack dog Wednesday.

Watch: Pawlenty compares Obama and McCain

“Senator McCain’s life experiences are epic, they are legendary,” Pawlenty said in response to a question at the National Press Club. “They are a life story. Not a life oratory but a life story,” Pawlenty added, in an apparent reference to Obama’s much-discussed public speaking skills.

“That stands in contrast to Senator Obama,” Pawlenty said, turning his attention to the presumptive Democratic nominee. “It is simply a matter of fact that less than four years ago he was a state legislator.”

“It’s not even a close call in my book as to who you want in sitting in the Oval Office as President of the United States, leader of the free world, commander-in-chief.”

Pawlenty was also asked about the qualities he thought a vice presidential candidate should possess and he kept his response to the point.  "Discretion," the Minnesota governor said.

In an appearance before a conservative group Wednesday morning, Pawlenty had more praise for Obama.

"People want to follow hopeful, optimistic, civil, decent leaders," Pawlenty said.  "Say what you will about Barack Obama . . . people gravitate when you got something positive to say," he added.  The potential Republican VP pick also told the gathering that McCain had a positive approach to politics as well.

soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Hans-Erik Iken

    I think this guy is jealous of Obama for being able to get people excited and commited to his cause without having to re-hash events from the Vietnam era.

    What has McCain been doing in DC all these years besides lining his pockets and supporting the failed politics of GW Bush for 95% of the times he had a vote?

    Is that the epic story he referring to?

    August 6, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. Plenty

    Attack dog...... call it for what they are.... pathetic. McShame and plenty of Pawlenty already!

    August 6, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. "Pot, Booze and Blow when I could afford it" Obama 95

    That's correct governor... and a few years before being a state legislator... he was smoking weed and doing cocain... so he is experienced... if your looking for a dealer, hustler, crook etc...

    Gotta go... buying a tire gauge so I don't need gas anymore!

    August 6, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. Latinos for Obama

    Here is a hint on who Pawlenty really is:

    Pawlenty's Campaign Received $600,000 in Penalties, the Largest in Minnesota History, in 2002 for Illegal Coordination. "The state campaign finance board leveled $600,000 in penalties against then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Pawlenty to settle a board finding of illegal collusion on TV ads. The State Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board fined the campaign $100,000 and charged it with $500,000 in ad spending." [Star Tribune, 10/15/02].

    Oh, and there is more, much more!

    August 6, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. Jeff, South Bend, IN

    I have no idea who the F this guy even is, but he's right – there is only one obvious choice of who should be sitting in the Oval Office, and it's certainly not the angry, vindictive, morally and ethically challenged, flip-flopping, veteran-hating, war mongering, math-inept, dim-witted John McCain. Not after letting a man with the IQ of a hamster run the show for the last 8 years.

    August 6, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. Peter E

    Hey 'Former g.o.p.' (which you aren't, and you're not helping your precious Obama by lying about it) lay off personal attacks! There is a reason why Obama himself never brought up McCain's personal life! Because Obama doesn't want his own brought up about how his own father abandoned his mother, and how his mother abandoned him!
    It's irrelevant and disgusting! If you are an example of what Obama's campaign is about (low-blow personal attacks) then thank you, I'll look for 'change' elsewhere.

    August 6, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. Eric, Washington

    I like this guy and McCain should pick him. He might attract to the young voters because he's more handsome than Obama.

    August 6, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Lesley

    How can you compare somebody 47 with somebody 72 when it comes to life experiences? Give me a break! And while we're at it, let's examine all of McCain's story, the good, the bad, and the ugly. There's a lot of all of it to go around. Even in McCain's book, he said that he lied during the election in 2000 in South Carolina just to get votes. He graduated 4th from the bottom in the naval academy and it was only through the influence of his admiral father that he got into flight school. While there, he partied some more instead of taking advantage of the opportunity that was wasted on him. It was horrible the account of his POW years, but he was not alone in that. Then came the divorce, then the Keating 5 scandal, then he became a good person, and now in the last 8 years he's become a Republican puppet. That about sums it up.

    August 6, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. Julie

    The man is old of course he has more life experiences, I don't think I would call them "epic"
    This man obviously is wanting to be VP.

    August 6, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Charlotte

    I will write in Hillary, I don't care who the VP's might be...

    August 6, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Docb

    Sounds like a shoe in for VP...Wonder if he can do BOMB BOMB BOMB IRAN? and surge surge surge..... and does her disparage his wife and women? Does he not support veterans...perfect...

    August 6, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. EC

    Ahhh Geeezzz Gov. Pawlenty, it NOW becomes very CLEAR just how far up Sen. McCain's behind the kisses from you flow? I mean the lost weight, the new hair cut, wow... all for John McCain. Hummmmm...

    I mean seriously, for you to state Sen. McCain's experience is epic, is just too much CRAP. Sen. McCain has been in the Senate for 30+ years AND he has voted in SUPPORT 99% of the time with guess who? Mr. Join-to-the Hip George W. Bush. I find it really funny that he claims he's NOT like Georgie Boy, but yet is stating in front of the camera "in his own words" that he voted 99% in support of George Bushes FAILED POLICIES. John McCain has done nothing but played himself out with all this hogwash. I'm NOT voting for a President who doesn't even know how to use the internet. Geeez, clearly McCain is still living in the PAST.

    August 6, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. john

    Get John McSame Dick out of you mouth.

    August 6, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. dan

    To the people who think McCain's divorce of his first wife is relevant I have one question for you to ask yourself. When Bill Clinton was running for President did you believe Bill's cheating on Hillary was relevant or was it a personal matter that had no importance to his campaign? Just a thought.

    August 6, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. anonymous

    Here we go again. Go ahead insecure democrats, you're just as bad as the rest, with you critical nasty remarks. Looks like you had better take a look in the mirror and see if you are so perfect. Don't judge a man until you have walked in his shoes. OHHHHHHHHHH that hurt didn't it ?
    Well, doesn't sound as if you are a leader and thank God you're not, you never know when to keep your mouth shut up and listen big boys and girls. Hope you all watch Glenn Beck as he tells it like it is. If you don't want the truth then better not watch. I love Glen Beck, wish he were in a political seat. He would be GREAT.

    August 6, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. Ali

    You know every time i watch or read the news, all i hear is Obama doesn't have experience. Let me ask this what experience did Bush had before becoming the pres. if its all about experience how come John Kerry didn't win in 2004 election. Its very clear that GOP all the have and offer is the same thing bush and his dad used to over.. If i remember J.F.K was younger than Obama. so its not about experience, but judgment, and its very clear that Obama has better judgment. Obama said Iraq will be a big mistake and McCain supported pres. Bush. So where was his experience or when he said we will stay in Iraq for 100 yrs. What the hell was he thinking Iraq is? for sure not Hong Kong where British stayed. But in Iraq our men and women are dying everyday, not to mention how much money we spend, but I'm more concerned about our respected men and women in uniform who are being killed everyday. So one thing is certain and that not only America, but world is ready for change. Even though I'm not voting, because I'm only 17 yrs old. So please don't listen to what media tell or the internet, but ask yourself who will offer your needs .

    August 6, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. George from Minneapolis

    As someone from MN, this state is going for Obama in the general election. Pawlenty had better be careful before he find himself voted out of office.

    August 6, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  18. rob

    CNN you call him a "political attack dog" because he is pointing out the obvious differences in experience? I agree with "Voter" above, I never hear you call any Dem an "attack Dog"...Please. I guess they are not allowed to say anything that might be considered remotely negative about Obama without it being called an attack.

    August 6, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. Arkansas Undertaker

    I really HAte all Republicans! They are stupid and proud of it.

    August 6, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  20. phil, philly

    i wonder what mccain's first wife has to to about his epic life story.

    August 6, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. Laidetea

    Vote Obama. McShame is not for the people anymore. He is only for big money for him and his CEO Oil buddies.

    August 6, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  22. California Gold

    This guy looks and behaves like a muslim!

    ROTFLMBO

    August 6, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Big D

    Sorry Tim – but epic life experience isn't the only factor to consider. And for McCain, we really have to ask: what have you done lately that would qualify you for President? McCain is touting his experience at the same time that he's trying to say that Congress is at fault for our current problems. So for 26 years he's been part of that problem. If he couldn't work on solutions before, how can he claim to be a leader now? McCain seems to be grasping at any ideas he can lately, but random ideas and gimmicks aren't enough.

    August 6, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. Mike

    "Leader of the free world"? Surely they don't mean the president of the United States, whomever that ends up being. Maybe "Leader of the free world minus certain places and under certain circumstances."

    I also don't understand the logic of wanting a career politco. There's no requirement that says the President must have been a senator or career politician. I'd rather vote for a farmer. Thomas Jefferson would have preferred the same.

    August 6, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. Sylvia

    Here is your contrast, Pawlenty, the old senile geezer oppose to handsome, charismatic, articulate, intellegent, good judement, and presidential.

    August 6, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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