September 19th, 2009
12:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Pawlenty slams Dems on 'reckless' spending

Pawlenty spoke Friday night at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.
Pawlenty spoke Friday night at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON (CNN)–In one of his most politically charged addresses to date, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty strongly criticized Democrats and the Obama administration Friday for "reckless" and "irresponsible" spending.

Speaking before conservatives at the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington, Pawlenty insisted the Democrats' attempt at revamping the health care system will run the country into the ground.

"This proposal needs to get killed," Pawlenty said. "It is a bad idea."

"Well, with all due respect, Mr. President," Pawlenty added, "if we're out of money, stop spending it."

The two-term Governor spent a portion of his speech touting his successes in Minnesota, and discussed faith, values, and his views against same-sex marriage.

But perhaps the most rousing response came when Pawlenty directly responded to the Democratic National Committee's recent attack ad painting him as a liar and "extremist," attempting to appeal to his party's far-right wing.

"I accept the challenge… I'll call you out," Pawlenty said.

"Here's my message: Stop spending the country into bankruptcy. Stop taxing us into oblivion. And the next time you address a group of young people maybe you should apologize for the crushing debt you're putting on their shoulders," he said.

In response to his attacks, DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan repeated charges of Pawlenty's "extreme" ways.

"It looks like Tim Pawlenty isn't even going to offer the pretense of being anything but an extreme right wing radical anymore," Sevugan said in a statement. "At least it's honest, and if you've seen what he's said on health care lately you know that's a rare feat."

Earlier this year, Pawlenty announced he would not run next year for a third term as Governor, a move seen by many as a signal that he is interested in running for the White House.

Since then, he has been a constant critic of the current administration's policies.


Filed under: President Obama • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. ERP

    So what else is new from Pawlenty and the dinosaur GOP? They must feel comfortable shooting down and trying to kill other people's ideas. On the other hand, they don't have to worry about other people trying to kill any of the GOP's new ideas – they don't have any!

    September 19, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. vijay

    where he has been for the last 8 years. Did he know that his own party made this economy go broke. Now he is acting like a crying wolf. Go away Pawlenty.
    Hayward, calif.

    September 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Susan

    Gee, let's call you out sir. Why not help instead of just complain? Where were you when Bush put the crushing debt on this country with his trillion dollar wars? Why are you not out there with the rest of us begging to work for peace instead of continuing the Republican fear of terrorists mantra, which is only going to continue unsustainable spending for wars? Why aren't you HELPING find a way to insure all citizens, the way the Constitution wants government to "provide for the general welfare," instead of toeing the Rep. line that it cannot be done. Right now the Republicans need a leader: you are nothing more than a hateful follower.

    September 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Tim in Baltimore

    OK ... so 70% of ALL Federal spending consists of FIVE THINGS (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, National Defense, and interest on the National Debt). If you cut EVERYTHING ELSE, you'd STILL have a deficit. So, my question to the distinguished Governor is, "What do you propose cutting"? Social Security and Medicare? I don't think so. Half the "wingers" in Washington last weekend were probably COLLECTING Social Security and receiving Medicare benefits. His statements are pure hypocracy. This isn't some problem that President Obama "invented" (or caused) ... it's been building for 30+ years. Could someone PLEASE talk about the facts and the REAL cause(s) of the problem ... and then present some REAL SOLUTIONS ... PLEEEAASSSEEEE !!!!!!

    September 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. GOPer

    There is no "since then" about it. Pawlenty has been the constant critic from the far right, except of course when he hypocritically takes credit for the stimulus he criticizes while graciously accepting it, as did another "values" Republican (Jindal).

    And yet, we did not hear any of these GOPer cries of "reckless and irresponsible spending" when President Bush and his Republican majorities were running up record deficits/debt and an unnecessary war. Credibility please.

    At least these funds are being used to restore America this time.

    September 19, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. johnny boy

    where were you wen Regan, and Bush were spending like crazy.. OUR President has to spend money to fix our problems that your pary left behind. Why is it everytime a republican takes control of anything defecits go up and wen a democrat comes in its like they create a surplus an idiots like pawlanty screw everything up?

    September 19, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Steve

    Pawlenty needs to keep is mouth shut. He's a poltical lightweight who has been a terrible governor. Obama would eat him for lunch one on one. He ran in Minnesota as a moderate and has since changed his stripes to spots and taken on the mantel of the extreme right. He's a loser and if Tim Pawlenty is the the hope of the GOP, then Obama's guaranteed a second term.

    September 19, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. larry

    well I guess that right wing conference need some comic relief ...they couldn't get Palin so they got Pawlenty....what a joke.

    September 19, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Unhappy in Minnesota

    If he wants to talk about reckless spending he should start with talking about the billions and billions we have spent on the war in Iraq!Not only the money that has been spent there, but the plan to go there is the first place was reckless. If I remember correctly that was a decision encouraged by the Republicans. Also the Republicans like to conveniently forget that the $700 billion bank bail out money happened under George W. Bush. Let's go back to where a lot of our economic issues started! They didn't start when Obama took office.

    September 19, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. GI Joe

    Sure hope TPaw never spends recklessly on such things as infrastructure (falling bridges) or the people of this country. That would sure be a waste, wouldn't it?

    September 19, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Ben

    This is ludicrous. Dick Cheney is the one who said "Deficits don't matter." Even better, he said that was the central lesson Ronald Reagan taught us. Conservatives INVENTED deficit spending. To hear them preach about fiscal responsibility is like listening to an Amish lecture on iPhone Apps.

    September 19, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. shawn

    I hate to admit it, but he is right, our country is broke. In fact we are in debt to the tune of $11 trillion. Obama either doesn't understand or doesn't care about what he is doing to our country, and I don't know which is worse. I can understand the stimulus bill, but I can't understand a government takeover of healthcare that raises costs, reduces quality care, and adds trillions to an already broke nation. Especially when over 80% say they like what they have, why are we changing it? I voted for Obama, and I feel like I hurt my children by doing so, because they will be paying for Obama's mistakes the rest of their lives.

    September 19, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Racy

    We support you

    September 19, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Tim

    This is the same governor who was in office when the bridges started to collapse in MN. Laughable!

    September 19, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    OK, so here it comes: "Where were the complaints when Bush was spending". That's fair. But tell me you mathematically challenged pinheads, how are $1 trillion dollar annual deficits better than $400 billion deficits? How about the $15 million boarder crossing upgrades where 3 people cross each day? What about the AIG bonuses? You Democrats are destroying America.

    September 19, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. EH

    Did Pawlenty fall asleep during the entire Bush administration? How many trillions in debt did W leave us? How many no bid contracts to defense contractors did they give out? Billions and Billions lost yet everyone is freaking out over ACORN who got less than 10 percent from the government!! Unbelievable!!!

    September 19, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    "...And the next time you address a group of young people maybe you should apologize for the crushing debt you're putting on their shoulders,"

    It seems the man has been asleep at the wheel regarding the nation for the previous administration's 8 years. That debt was caused by them, and very few folks on the right challenged the GOP to stop spending.

    After this past year, even if the man were planning on running again for the governorship in Minnesota, I think spouting his mouth about his positions on same-sex marriage would lose him his current position. There are too many people in the Twin Cities who I'm sure are disgusted with him, at this point.

    Governor Pawlenty, good luck at appealing to Palin's fanatics, because those are really the only ones who will respond to your right-wing spewings.

    September 19, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. josh

    Dude,
    Why is that you were mute during the eight years Bush was spending like a drunken sailor? It is pathetic, perhaps if you so called conservatives had critisized Bush half as much as you do the current administration, we would not be in the economic mess we are in now.

    The fact that people actually find you, and your arguments credible defies logic.

    September 19, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. George

    Yes the Republicans are all against spending tax dollars, unless it is giving money to banks, auto makers and their other corporate sponsors. If it is for the health of the common man, forget about it.

    September 19, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. lynnej

    So, he says, "Stop spending the country into bankruptcy. Stop taxing us into oblivion. And the next time you address a group of young people maybe you should apologize for the crushing debt you're putting on their shoulders."

    That is kind of funny when his party, the previous administration, did the most damage spending the surplus leaving the country in a messs.

    September 19, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Alex

    The Republicans sure were a-otay with excessive spending as long as it was for illegal wars and Big Brother type programs. Kinda hard to take them seriously.

    September 19, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Ken

    "Here's my message: Stop spending the country into bankruptcy. Stop taxing us into oblivion. And the next time you address a group of young people maybe you should apologize for the crushing debt you're putting on their shoulders," he said.
    For stating the obvious, Pawlenty is recognized as a threat to the continued liberalization of the nation, and is targeted as an “extremist”. Hopefully there are enough Americans out there with the rare gift of thought, who recognize the long term damage being done to the Nation by the current Executive Office and Congress.

    September 19, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Laurie

    Governor Pawlenty: The State of Minnesota has a serious budget deficit and you have been governor there for how many years? Get real. I think you better concentrate on fixing the mess you created in your own state, as that is still your job. I used to admire you and now I realize that you are just another creeper. Fix what you have ruined in Minnesota and then give a rousing speech about what you would do to fix the multitude of problems in Washington. Otherwise, sit down and be quiet!!!!!

    September 19, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. John from California

    Where was this clown when Bush/Cheney and the Republican Congress was pissing away a $3 trillion dollar surplus and generating a $9 trillion dollar debt?

    The republicans have been out to bankrupt the federal government to eliminate a provider of good paying jobs and force people to work for slave wages (sound like happy days are here again)?

    September 19, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. andy

    Let me get this straight: Democrats are calling Pawlenty a right wing radical because he believes Obama is spending money like a drunken sailor ?? Are you serious ?

    September 19, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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