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. arithmetic is liberal

    Social conservatism: single issues designed to distract voters from the fact that their workload is getting heavier and their paycheck is getting smaller.

    Xenophobia: method by which to distract "values voters" by convincing them that the ones taking their stuff are brown and from another country.

    Fiscal conservatism: The myth that someone without investments will see lower taxes if they support tax cuts on capital gians

    Feudalism: The social order we condemn ourselves to if we fall for any more Republican marketting schemes.

    February 28, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. karen

    Duh...that could be, Pawlenty, because REPUBLICANS ARE NOT FOR

    February 28, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Linda from Minnesota

    I live in MN, Pawlenty will not spend a dime and look at what happened, our bridge fell down and people died. He needs to go and he can take ex-senator Norm Coleman with him.

    February 28, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Peter

    I love the typical republicans! they say things which the they don't mean to, they object any idealogy which is not floated by one of them! they dance the tunes of Rush & Hannity, they confuse patriotism with fascism!, they are conservatives in public but God knows what in private. Its hard to convince them to see the obvious. They always make me remember the African tribes which I grew up with!! the only difference is that, they live in developed world with electricity and Guns while the tribes lives in darkness and spears! but their mentality is almost identical!! both are victims of their actions!

    February 28, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. karen

    Duh...that could be, Pawlenty, because REPUBLICANS ARE NOT FOR THE WORKING PERSON! They have done nothing but screw working people since their hero, Reagan, conned enough Americans into believing their lies...and they have never stopped...from the sounds of it, they never will. But we, the working people, are sure going to stop them, and we have just begun!

    February 28, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Oldlady

    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.”

    This is True! What have you done for us lately?

    I am a "Dedicated Sam's Club Member" and proud of it.

    February 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Justin from New Haven, CT

    What the hell is a Sam's Club voter? Someone who loves cheap imported crap, hates unions, and wants a theocracy?

    February 28, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Felly

    Read my lips, the Grand Obstructionist Party is dead for the next 16 years.

    February 28, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Happy with new President

    Mr. Pawlenty,
    I know, you ,probably, don't go to Sam's Club! You have money, and don't need those discounts offered to us. But, I recomend to you to go there just one time, and to check out all collors there. Here, in MI, it's blue, not red. If they change their collors to red, I will stop going to Sam's Club, and get Costco card.

    February 28, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Violet

    Whether you shop at Sam's Club or the 99 cent store for your groceries, your vote should never go to the Republican party. Poor people who vote Republican have been brain washed by the GOP with their talk of high morality and patriotism. The rich vote Republican because they are interested in keeping every little dime they make. They don't want to pay their taxes. The rich are really not interested in spending their own money. They like to get it free or take it back to Neiman Marcus once they have worn it to that important public function. You know, like how Nancy Reagan used to do when her husband was the Governor of California. I get it. I've been inside the mansion and out in the alley.

    February 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    "Sam Club workers" ? Hmm...very savvy marketing. Focused idea in a nutshell. A+ to Pawlenty. Go GOP Go!

    February 28, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Amanda

    I can't believe my ears ! Rush drug addict Limbaugh to give the key note address ! Boy, the Republicans are REALLY imploding !

    February 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    The only people the Republicans really appeal to anymore are the bigoted, superstitious, bible-thumpers.

    February 28, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Independent Dave

    I'm a 'Sam's Club voter', and its your 'principles' that I don't agree with!

    You keep cramming this 'Freedom' crap down my throat yet won't recognize the rights of the Gay community or a womans choice to reproduce. You bemoan the financial ruination that we are leaving our children and grandchildren, yet you care not of the condition of the planet on which they will have to live!

    February 28, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. John

    Republican honchos think working families perceive the GOP as the party of the rich?

    Imagine that!

    February 28, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    "I thought we were a country that believed in self sufficiency and doing for ourselves."

    Not any more.

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship."

    - Alexander Tyler

    February 28, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    Ensure an Obama victory in 2012! Romney-Pawlenty!

    February 28, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Unshrub

    The republicans don't have a clue. They spend all of their time attacking Obama and Democrats when they should try to come up with new ideas. Just because they call something by a different name doesn't mean it's a new idea. Their idea of helping the country is 30 second sound bites and more attacks of the Democrats andt their answer to everything is to give the rich more tax cuts. There is no evidence that tax cuts to the rich has ever helped the economy, although they want everyone to believe that.

    February 28, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Patsy Madison, TN

    I now know that the republicans are evil people. They want the Sam Club's voters, but we will not change our values, but we can promise them anything because we just want their vote.

    February 28, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Unshrub

    At least Obama's budget is honest. Bush and the republicans budget was a lot large than they claimed it was because they HAD NOT included Iraq and other items that resulted in over 1/2 trillion dollars MORE deficit. Their budget like everything else they do is just a bunch of lies.

    February 28, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. Lynn West Bloomfield, Michigan

    Sam's Club Voters? ROFL! These people are so out of touch. They talk about people who shop there as if they has just discovered a rare species of human life forms from outer space or something.

    That us ONE of the very reasons they were beaten to a pulp in the last election (oh and that old man palling around with that crazy woman!). They are out of touch, out of ideas, and out to lunch – on tax payer floated expense accounts most likely

    February 28, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Stephanie

    As long as the Republicans see Rush Limbaugh as their "God", they will continue to lose votes.

    February 28, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Olivia from Colorado

    What a mess the Republican Party has become.

    February 28, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Donna from Colorado Springs

    This is just another snotty and arrogant statement by the Republican party who looks down thier noses at the everage person in this country! To call a certain group of people "Sam's club voters" is insulting, to say the least. There are so many people shopping at clubs like Sam's club and Costco because of what the Republican party did to this country under George Bush! No wonder they lost in a landslide last November!

    February 28, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Lexie

    Lookslike yet another Republican "Pretty Boy" has dip his hair in a bottle of hair dye.

    February 28, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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