February 28th, 2009
11:16 AM ET
5 years ago

Pawlenty urges GOP outreach to 'Sam’s Club voters'

Gov. Tim Pawlenty says the GOP must stress its commitment to job creation.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty says the GOP must stress its commitment to job creation.

(CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday that Republicans must do a better job of reaching out to working class voters, a group he said agrees with the GOP on most issues, from gun rights to heath care to education.

The problem, Pawlenty said, is that lower and middle income voters - a group he terms “Sam’s Club voters” - don’t believe Republicans “are for the working person.”

He said the party must stress its commitment to job creation and market itself “with a feel and concern and tone and an understanding of the importance and the challenges of the working class of this country.”

“And it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our principles to do it,” Pawlenty said.

Like most of the Republicans who have addressed the annual gathering of conservatives this week, Pawlenty chided the White House for passing a “sprawling spending buffet” disguised as an economic recovery package.

The governor bemoaned the president’s budget plan, unveiled earlier this week, which predicted a $1.75 trillion deficit for the upcoming fiscal year.

“A day or two later the Democrats convened a fiscal responsibility summit,” he said. “What’s next? Are they going to have Rod Blagojevich convene an ethic summit?”

Pawlenty and his wife Mary also spoke Friday night to a closed-door reception for “Rebuild the Party,” a web-based grassroots initiative to modernize the party


Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. Kyle

    Notice how all the Republicans who now have an opinion are the same blinded fools who rubber-stamped everything and anything George Bush put in front of them. Sorry excuses. . . .

    February 28, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Jillian

    Where has Pawlenty been for the past eight years?...in George Bush's shadow.

    February 28, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. MARK

    Who needs terrorists when we have the GOP?

    February 28, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Joseph

    Wheres the article about Jindals Phony story that he told not one but twice, the first time was even more elaborate than the second time. Do these politicians not know about the internet??

    February 28, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. proud army navy mom

    CPAC stands for:

    Corrupt- to ruin with unsound morals, manners and actions

    Pathetic – inspiring pity

    Asinine- marked by inexcusable failure to exercise intelligence or sound judgment.

    Cowardly – behaviour that treacherous,dastardly and outrageous.

    Yeap, that exactly describes the repugs.

    February 28, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. chuck

    ANOTHER BITE THE DUST. TIM PAWLENTY REFERRING TO A CERTAIN GROUP OF AMERICANS AS "SAM'S CLUB VOTERS". THESE WHITE BASTARDS ALWAYS TRY TO ATTACH A NAME TO CERTAIN GROUPS. PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN AMERICA ARE CALLED AMERICANS OK GOV.PAWLENTY. N- F-- G--.

    February 28, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Jadie

    The Republicans haven't been for the "working person" for many years. Now, all of a sudden, they need the "working person" to stay in office. Hopefully, the Republican Party is almost EXTINCT.

    February 28, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. ZANE

    Wasn't Pawlenty who supported Bush's "trickle down effect". lol lol lol sure it was!

    February 28, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Palin – Strike 1
    Jindal – Strike 2
    Pawlenty – You're Out!

    February 28, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Ch in ME

    Jean had an interesting take on the "letter from the Boss";

    "If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no
    employees to worry about…."

    Great idea boss but you you do us al a favor and leave before the next election?

    February 28, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Der

    Republicans think you're dumb everyone.

    February 28, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Susan

    Now we can say the Republicans have tried about everything. Morons.

    February 28, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. chuck

    GOV. TIM PAWLENTY JUST PUT THE FINAL NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BY REFERRING TO A CERTAIN GROUP OF AMERICANS AS"SAM'S CLUB VOTERS" . GOV.PAWLENTY --WHERE IS YOUR COMMON-SENSE? YOU COULD START PACKING YOUR BAGS BECAUSE YOU ARE OUT OF THERE WITH THREE STRIKES. BYE,BYE TIM.

    February 28, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Susan

    Pawlenty has had his eyes shut for eight years. Why is he so concerned now? Pawlenty is just another "Republican Puppet" who has been over-coached and over-rehearsed by Rush Limbaugh.

    February 28, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. A tired American

    I realize it must have been already said numerous times, but the governor must know that the reason us "Sam's Club" voters think that the GOP does not have our interests at heart is because the GOP has proven time and time again that we do not matter! They have been saying for decades that they are for us, yet when given the chance to prove it they resort to screwing us again. It's gotten to the point that it is sickening, and most of us are tired of hearing it.
    The GOP needs to go on a 12-step program, and remember that they have to prove to us several times and for several elections before we will ever believe them. I don't think they are capable of this.

    February 28, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. arithmetic is liberal

    Well Jean,

    There are all kinds of countries with lower taxes you could move to.
    Zimbabwe, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Yemen...

    If you move anywhere else in the industrialized world, there will be higher taxes. So keep throwing your tantrum and spinning aroundon your back int he Walmart parking lot. You are completely immature, and your threats will never be carried out because there's no where to carry them to.
    If you want to cut off your nose to spite your face, fine.

    February 28, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. JayLea

    Proudly written by Rush Limbaugh and edited by Carl Rove.

    February 28, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. If you don't like it go back to Europe!

    Hey Wow, if you dont like it go back to Europe!

    February 28, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. bob from canada

    GOP=GOOF ON PARADE

    February 28, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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