June 3rd, 2009
03:34 PM ET
5 years ago

Pawlenty: 'Absolutely' schedule Sotomayor hearing soon

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is looking at a possible White House run in 2012.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is looking at a possible White House run in 2012.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty struck a charitable tone towards Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday, calling for a swift confirmation hearing in the Senate and arguing that Obama's pick for the high court "should be given the benefit of the doubt because she has a compelling life story."

Those comments differ markedly from the reactions of Pawlenty's fellow 2012 prospects, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, both of whom fired off statements after Sotomayor's nomination saying they were troubled by some of her past comments about the role of the judiciary.

Appearing on MSNBC, Pawlenty was asked if Sotomayor should be given a confirmation hearing "sooner rather than later."

"Absolutely," he said. "Judge Sotomayor has got a compelling life story. She has been accomplished in her legal career and her career as a judge and as a jurist.

Pawlenty did take a moment to emphasize that "we need to get the rest of the story in terms of her testimony before the Congress and vet her."

"But she should be given the benefit of the doubt because she has a compelling life story and an accomplished career," he continued. "We shouldn't jump to conclusions, particularly with overheated rhetoric."

Pawlenty said she deserves "a fair hearing" and concluded: "If she is meritorious and qualified for the job, she should be confirmed."

(Although Romney had said some of her past remarks were "troubling," he, too, said Sotomayor deserves a "complete and fair" confirmation process.)

The Minnesota Republican announced on Tuesday that he will not seek a third term next year, fueling speculation that he may run for president in 2012. Although he wasn't included in the survey, Pawlenty was asked about a CNN Poll released Tuesday showing what is essentially a three-way tie between Huckabee, Romney and Sarah Palin in a hypothetical race for the Republican nomination in 2012.

"Nobody knows who I am, so even if was included, I'm not sure I would have made a difference," he joked. "I don't think these early numbers mean anything. Whoever is in the lead a couple years out is never the winner anyhow."


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Joe

    What on Earth does Governor Pawlenty's handling of Al Franken's election fraud have to do with him asking for an expediant hearing on President Obama's nominee? This is why parties go in cycles. When President Bush was starting his second term and the Republicans were gaining in both houses, the rhetoric about the end of the Democratic Party sounded exactly the same as what we are hearing now about the end of the Republican Party. Democrats and Republicans are so unwilling to admit when the other party does something right and so quick to spread hate speech that the ignorant public push moderation out the door. Governor Pawlenty is saying something in support of a liberal, and all you liberal bloggers can do is whine about unrelated reasons why you hate him.

    June 3, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Ron

    Who cares what this guy thinks. He is only interested in seeking political gain from this. Wouldn't a good reporter call him on it?

    June 3, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. mike

    Come on people lets be honest,the reason republicans are dead set against abortion is because 85percent of the women who gets abortions are white women,there was 1.2million abortions performed last year,out of that 1million of those abortions was white women,since roe vs wade was overturned white women have had 32million abortions,minorities only 5million.white people are 62percent of the population in america,if roe vs wade wasnt overturned white people would have been 70percent of the population today,thats a hudge difference,in the republicans knows it,so i wish the mainstream media along with the republican party would be honest in just tell the truth,that the only reason they care about this abortion issue is because the white population is shrinking at an unbelievable rate,now if minorities was having 85percent of the abortions,the media or the republicans wouldnot care about abortion,in fact the republicans would be pro-abortion just think about it people.

    June 3, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. donttreadonme

    Chery Tx June 3rd, 2009 4:15 pm ET
    ……..you mean Fox News ….The Racist lying News you can't believe In
    ----------------------------–
    MSNBC not biased??? MSNBC is owned by parent companies GE 80% and Vivendi 20%. GE will get billions from Obama in stimulus money…so basically MSNBC has a $ stake in Obama's presidency. Very scary!
    Vivendi is a French Media company...go figure!

    One example of Fox being racist?

    June 3, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    Typical crooked republican!

    June 3, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Minnesotan

    Why is a do-nothing like Tim Pawlenty getting any press from CNN? Here in Minnesota, we're glad he's giving up his job and wish Michelle Bachmann would fade away as well. Partisan hate-mongers like these don't need to be promoted.

    June 3, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. JT

    Pawlenty, go groom your mullet and don't worry about it.

    June 3, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Peter

    Some of you here need to search out some facts. Pawlenty and Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie BOTH refused to sign the election certificate for Franken because Minnesota law says that it is not to be signed until the election is declared legally valid. This position has been verified by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Because Coleman's election contest is still going, Franken cannot have his certificate signed.

    But by all means, don't let facts stand in the way of petulant histrionics.

    June 3, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. ~~ July ~~

    Pawlenty can't even be man enough to say Al Franklin won .. and he wants to be President??? LOL

    June 3, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Whatz up

    Pawlenty is proving what a SCHMUCK he truly is. This guy is nothing more than a cheap suit. He's been talking out of the side of his mouth since day one. Pawlenty doesn't have the BALLS to be President. He's NOT President material. The man is a coward when he announced he's not seeking another term as Governor. Ah really?

    Could it be because YOU WOULD LOSE BIG TIME? Now he's trying to "suck up" regarding the Sotomayor confirmation. Are you kidding us?
    Save the BS for those that are too stupid to know better Pawlenty.

    June 3, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. JT

    Pawlenty is a weak, weak source of comments. Weak.

    June 3, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Simmy

    Who can respect his words? He can't even be civil in the case between Franken and Coleman.....

    June 3, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
1 2 3