August 21st, 2009
10:05 AM ET
5 years ago

Pawlenty back in spotlight, again

Pawlenty is set to make an appearance at another high profile GOP event.
Pawlenty is set to make an appearance at another high profile GOP event.

(CNN) - Call Tim Pawlenty "Mr. Main Event."

The Minnesota governor is the keynote speaker Saturday night at a major dinner hosted by the Republican Party of Florida. The speech will be seen by many who cover national politics as the latest high profile step by Pawlenty toward a possible run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

Last month, Pawlenty addressed top party members at a Republican National Committee conference in San Diego. In October, the Minnesota governor heads back to California, as a featured speaker at the Western Conservative Political Action Conference.

Earlier this summer, the two term governor announced he would not run next year for a third term, a move seen by many as a signal that Pawlenty is interested in running for the White House. Since that announcement, Pawlenty has stepped up his criticism of President Barack Obama.

Earlier: Pawlenty wades into health care debate

"It is time we stand up to President Obama," Pawlenty said to members of the Republican National Committee. "It is time we stand up for our principles, and it is time we stand up for the American people."

An adviser described Pawlenty's appearance at the RNC as an opportunity to "introduce himself to an important group of party leaders and lay out the case for why President Obama's policies are taking America in the wrong direction."

Late last month, he teamed up with House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, to release a report that took aim at Democratic plans for health care reform. Since then, Pawlenty has increased his opposition to health care reform proposals supported by Obama and congressional Democrats.

Political insiders see Pawlenty's appearances at these high profile events and his outspokenness in taking on the White House and congressional Democrats as a sign the Minnesota governor is eyeing a presidential run in 2012.

"Pawlenty will be a serious candidate for the Republican presidential nomination if he chooses to run in 2012," said CNN Political Editor Mark Preston. "He has an impressive resume and is well liked by the conservative base. He is smart to be spending the summer criss-crossing the country helping his fellow Republicans raise money. Those are chits he might be able to cash in later."

Regardless of his recent activities, Pawlenty doesn't register with many Republicans.

In a national poll conducted this month by Marist College, Pawlenty grabbed just one percent support of Republicans in a hypothetical horserace for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, far behind more well known possible candidates including Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich.

The Marist survey is the latest national poll that suggests Pawlenty is in the low single digits when it comes to support.

"Some polls have shown Pawlenty with as much as four percent support, but none show him in double digits," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It's not impossible to go from the governorship of a medium-sized state to the White House - Jimmy Carter did it in 1976 - but Pawlenty either has to boost his name recognition or hope that the major frontrunners all cancel each other out in 2012 and allow him to slip past them."


Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Jim TN

    I'm so tired of these GOP knuckle draggers.

    August 21, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. SlowGun

    "and it is time we stand up for the American people"

    WOW...so he is admitting that they haven't been standing up for the American people. Good for him. Maybe if the Republican party does actually start standing up for the American people, they will be a viable option again.

    August 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. The black Spider

    I wish you would have stand up to President Bush when he was creating a mess.

    August 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. Richard

    The only people the GOP is standing up for is the Health Insurance Industry and big business, the amount of money the republicans and a few democrats scam from the industry is disgusting. They have no interest in the people unless its people putting money in their pockets.

    August 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. th

    Pawlenty is a worthless Governor. He should be back in Minnesota to take care of his failed policies.

    He is still on Minnesota's payroll.

    August 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. southerncousin

    The headline writer for this story is showing an obvious bias. I didn't realize that Pawlenty had been in the headlines that often. I am sure they certainly would write a headline in that manner if it was the daily Palin or Sanford story. The state run media sure likes to disparage and run down republicans, yet not a word about the Charlie Rangel investigation old Botox Pelosi has been running for over 10 months now. Certainly not running with the John Edwards story or the David Axelrod scumbag play. Liberals are so hyperhypocritical.

    August 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Rick

    Yes, he's been president for nearly 7 whole months. It's time for a revolution.

    The self-important ramblings of highly publicized Repubilcan idiots has been the reason for the death of true conservatives in this country. I'm so sick of politicians.

    August 21, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Four and The Door

    2012 is shaping up to be a very interesting contest. I can't wait to see who the Democrats come up with! ;)

    August 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. GOPer

    Yes – We Love him. As for palin, no comment. GO TIM!

    August 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  10. MNgirl

    Meh. Pawlenty's not very impressive. He's not a problem solver, he's just a kick-the-can-down-the-road so that the bad news doesn't hit during his term kind of guy. He's not a leader. So he can aspire to higher office all he wants, but most Minnesotans are not impressed and would not recommend him.

    August 21, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Doug, New Jersey

    I sure hope they have good security at this event, as you can witness by reading the ticker, there are millions of liberal loons in this country who have a total disregard for the lives of those who are not on the march towards socialism. Democrats have no need to debate the issues, they simply want to silence all oposition. ACORN, mainstream media lies, diversity czar, everyone's a racist who dares to speak a critical word toward Obama, the wishing of death and harm on all conservatives like Sarah Palin and her family, these actions paint the true picture of what the Democrats in this country have become.

    August 21, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    So just where was he "standing" the previous eight catastrophic years as his party gutted America to the core on nearly every level?

    August 21, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Randolph Carter the evil Obamabot

    "It is time we stand up to President Obama," Pawlenty said to members of the Republican National Committee. "It is time we stand up for our principles, and it is time we stand up for the American people."

    Translation: "It's time we stand up for the American people who are rich insurance and oil executives." What a corporate tool. Have a nice day!

    August 21, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    What principles? Republicans have none.

    August 21, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. Just the facts please

    Stand up for the American people?What he really means is stand up for American Corporations,not people.He wants to be the head of the Corporate Fascist Party.They believe that only big business knows whats best for the people,like "slavery is a good thing",paycuts dont hurt,and how to have more with less.What a joke.

    August 21, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Walter

    Is Pawlenty the whitest guy you know or what?

    He's wasting his time calling Republicans back to their "principles." They never had any, unless you count greed, fear, and hatred.

    August 21, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. Ben

    Why did we not see these types of commercials while President Bush was in office and taking tons of vacations?

    August 21, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. jano1234

    Would love to see you run in 2012!!!!

    August 21, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. A good man is not hard to find

    President Pawlenty, that sounds really good.

    Any conservative, any moderate, any body but Barak Obama.

    August 21, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. Crazy Harry

    "Stand up for the American people"

    You mean the rich white ones?

    August 21, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. ANGIE IN PA

    What are Republicans plans for Healtcare yeah we know stop Obama he s a socialist yada yada ya BUT WHAT ARE YOUR IDEAS? Other then Destroying President Obama?

    August 21, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. Tom

    Sarah Palin must be fighting made to have someone take over the spotlight in a possible presidential run.

    August 21, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Minnesotan

    Dear Florida: You're welcome to keep Pawlenty. We're pretty fed up with his petty, partisan politicking and his support of the numerous Republican problems, epic failures, economic waste and hypocrisy.

    August 21, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. montag24

    "It is time we stand up for our principles".

    What principles? Republicans have no principles.

    August 21, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. bcords

    and and if he doesn't stop it, i'm going to get mad as heck at him. he's a tough one!!!

    August 21, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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