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. Shannon

    Democrats seriously overestimate the number of Americans who think Bush is stupid, evil, etc., and that Cheney and Rumsfeld are the devil incarnate. Even though the liberal media and Democrats drive this notion into the ground day after day, the reality of the level of true hate sentiment for the Bush administration is just not what you wish it would be. This will be your undoing. By the way, CNN, you need to monitor for profanity on this website.

    August 6, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. bohica

    Unfortunately, and as with so much of Obama's self-told story, what we are given to believe does not jibe with facts and reality. Obama"s life story may not be as heroic as Axelrob would like to portray. He is a cult of personality who's larger than life facade will fall to scrutiny as more cracks appear. Hope and Change may have been a great theme for winning a Democratic primary, but how far will " Yes, We Can!" take him when the policy questions on the table involve what exactly he plans to do about issues such as taxes, abortion, energy, and national defense. WAKE UP AMERICA

    August 6, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. prairieguy

    Pawlenty can't even carry his home state for the ole fart!!!

    Repugs can only go slimmier!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Pat Riot

    CNN you let some people say some pretty vulgar things about John McCain on these boards. Don't you monitor for language and threats?

    August 6, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Lynne

    All of these comments are overly emotional and infantile. I believe that most of these comments are coming from very immature 20 somethings? Grown-ups debate issues with facts. They don't make crude personal attacks to try to score points. But, perhaps you have not bothered to educate yourself either on the issues or on intellectual debate. We need to choose leadership with our heads not from irrational emotional reaction.

    August 6, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. jo

    who you want in sitting in the Oval Office as President of the United States, leader of the free world, commander-in-chief.”
    My answer to you sir. somebody who know about economy (mccain doesn't) knows the world as today not as cold war (Chekoslovakia), voting for the G.I bill, Voting for equal pay for male and female. I respect Mccain but I don't want him in the Oval office.

    August 6, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. McCain:SmallWeakCowardlyMan OffersMoreOfTheSame TearsOthersDownToBuildHimselfUp

    Yes, let's hear more about JohnnyMac dumping his sickly first wife for a rich beer heiress with questionable investments overseas. Let's hear about all the crap talk with regards to women including his own wife Johnny is so famous for. Let's hear more about the Keating Five scandal that the press has chosen to ignore. Let's hear more about his own Republican senate colleagues – ("Sends cold shivers down their spines") – dreading his anger and potential occupation of the White House. Let's hear more about all the votes John McCain doesn't show up for even when he allegedly is favor of the measure. Let's hear more of the lies he tells with no fact checking (Ya, right, CNN – you're sure keepin' 'em honest – NOT! Just the facts – NOT!)

    August 6, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. TonyinKentucky

    Anyone who sees McCain as anything above inept is ether lying, unaware, or dumber than their candidate.

    McCain is a mental lightweight, surrounded by utter incompetence, and in lockstep agreement with stupid and toxic policies that have a generation long track record of creating debt, division, animosity from our allies, and ruin for the common citizen.

    No Republican!!!! No more voodoo economics, no more wars of misguided choice, no more trying to replicate the poison environment of Red China, no more avoiding dealing with an energy crises that has been coming since Carter was in office and scoffed out of Washington for suggesting we do what we now have to do at a much higher cost. NO MORE LIES AND MISDIRECTION!!!!

    August 6, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. whyPeopleForget

    Experience!!!! that's funny. Why Obama camp has not taken up the incidence that out of mischeif McCain wet started his jet to scare the person behind him and that led to a rocket fired from the airplane behind him that struck the central fuel tank of McScare who in panic jettisoned two bombs that exploded and that cause the death of 140 plus american navy men??? Also he has crashed aircraft 5 times. He gave the secrets so openly that vietnamese name him, "song bird". He has been a total failure. Had it not becuase of his admiral father and millionaire wife he would be just an average joe. Give me a break for his experience. And he is emotional too.

    August 6, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. tina

    Pawlenty looks like the guy who played in 40 year old virgin.

    August 6, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. wam

    oh my goodness...........did he say "epic"...........wow.............now if Obama had used that word to describe McCain, McCain would have cried that he was being called "old"........

    August 6, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. PaulC

    Compare JFK and Ronald Reagan's experience.
    Let's talk about GW's experience. A lot there...right?
    McCain has had 26 years in Congress and now has
    suddenly decided that we need to do something about
    the supply of oil.
    Give me a break.

    August 6, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. True

    Oh yeah, Epic? He got shot down in a plane during a war and was a POW for 5 years. I call it BAD LUCK.

    August 6, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. Obama. Obama, Bla...bla...bla..bama...

    Nice try. If all professionals here on a board and media, will continue to push Obama deep into american's throats, the result will be just opposite

    August 6, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. MikeH

    Pawlenty, ignorant (or just plain ignant) and proud of it.

    August 6, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. Shannon

    Who is editing these comments? I just made a post 5 minutes ago. My post was pro-Bush. It appeared, posted, and then it was quickly removed. Is this not the United States of America that I live in where free speech is valued? Men and women have died so that I can voice my opinion. CNN, do you believe otherwise?

    Oh, perhaps I am too naive. I thought this was a news organization. Its just a propaganda site. Poor America. What's happened to us?

    August 6, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. Alex

    This Governor from Minnesota is not the person to "seal the deal." McCain needs someone who knows and understands economic issues like Romney. If it ain't gonna be Romney, I'm not voting for McCain plain and simple, not that anyone would take notice. These politician never cease to amaze me. They'll do and say just about anything for a vote and not what is in the best interest of our country and the people in it.

    August 6, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. MikeH

    He looks like the 40-Year Old Virgin.

    August 6, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. Lim

    Come on now.

    Surely Obama has given a lot of hope to many of our fine state
    legislators in America who are chanting: YES, WE CAN.

    August 6, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. Franky

    “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.”

    Yeah, well played out. Just say it fast, and RUN!!! LOL!!! Just give the Conservative message out.....and by the way, there's a reason why he's(Pawlenty) not hesitating why he wants to be VP.......TRUST ME, is gonna be tough for them. But you know what? I think I know who Senator McCain is gonna pick.....let's just say it the first letter is M and the last letter is Y.........

    Let's just say Senator McCain needs a Conservative who could play within the game, not outside against the game...there's a difference.

    August 6, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Reality Check

    There are so many of you who are delirious, just as Obama is all talk and show. He does not have any experience in life per say, his oratory sounds great, but it's performance that matters. He has not performed, nor is he experienced.

    August 6, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  22. Joe Reg

    Too bad you are going in a hand backet. No more repubs this year.

    This is the year of the Democrats.

    Obama 08/12.

    August 6, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  23. aaa

    go obama !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2008

    August 6, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. Peter E

    So... whenever McCain votes with Bush he's 'kissing up in a spineless way' but when Obama votes with Bush (voted for the domestic spying program, voted for more Iraqi war funds, voted for tax breaks to oil companies, voted for the re-authorization of the Patriot Act, praise Bush's controversial No Child Left Behind program, wants to exdpand Bush's public funding of religious outreach groups, and now flip-flopping on energy policy and troop withdrawal, and the list goes on and on) he's being a 'uniter, reaching across party-lines?'
    I am against McCain because I agree that he's being too much like Bush. But to claim that Obama is giving us a real alternative is being both blind and a hypocrite! Check his records. I dare you! Check his own website for his policies.
    Vote Ron Paul! Change you can TRUST in! (unless CNN erases this comment, again, for not being pro-Obama enough)

    August 6, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. Stacy

    I think Pawlenty just want to be VP of Mc Cain.
    The fact is this Obama my not have the experience of Mc Cain but does he need it?
    He has the talent he’s clever and he has good judgment.
    In four years took Obama to do what Mc Cain took 26 year to do.
    Obama deserves a lot credit.
    Pawlenty is an idiot who could not even dream to reach where Obama has reaches in four year.

    August 6, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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