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. Rob Stumpf

    When Bush left office, the deficit was about $450b.

    Now, it's about 1.8 trillion, about four times higher.

    This is the Dumbocrats fixing "the big mess"....by printing money and spending our nation into oblivion. No thanks, we're better off without your "help".

    September 19, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Dan

    Here we go again with Selective Amnesia

    Why do these dummies never talk about how the previous administration ran us into debt in the first place. I never heard nothing from them, no tea/cocain parties and Glen beck was either a mute or just plain retarded then.

    This health care reform needs to be passed.It will get coverage for more people at lesser cost.Not sure why Republicans are supporting Insurance monopoly at the expense of main street low/medium income Americans. Unpatriotic if you ask me.

    September 19, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    This guy is the GOP answer? What a followup to Doofus McCain and loose cannon Sarah Palin. I can't wait.

    September 19, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Dan

    George W. Bush ran up a deficit that exceeded the deficits of ALL of his predecessors - and the two deficit champs before him were his Poppy and "Saint Reagan." Obama inherited this mess and had to face the difficult decision to engage in tremendous amounts of spending to stave off economic collapse. The Republicans have been well served by creating the myth of the tax and spend liberal, but it IS a myth. The Democratic Party is the party of fiscal restraint, and anyone motivated to do a little research can confirm this quickly.

    America is getting tired of Republican Party lies and greed (for both power and money).

    September 19, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. soccer mom in PA

    So did he slam the last Republican administration when they took the surplus the Dems left and turned it into a huge deficit of waste in Iraq?

    September 19, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Rita OHIO

    The absent MN governor seems to forget that W doubled the national debt from $5 trillion to $11 trillion in his 4 years. The tax cuts for the wealthy were done with reconcilation however I do not see one person on the right remembering these facts. 2007 & 2008 W vetoed the majority of the Democratic legislation put in front of him; still these wing nut blame the democrats.....unbelieveable.

    September 19, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. It's about time

    I love it how when you can defend your position (or "your" president), you just slam the other guy. Pawlenty is right - Obama's spending is out of control. This is what you get when you elect a community organizer who has never had to manage a budget, much less understand what one is. Let me explain: a budget is a way to assign values in spending to certain priorities to ensure that more money than is available doesn't get spent. I wonder if Obama or any member of congress was paying attention the day that concept was explained in school.

    September 19, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Proud to be the Party of NO socialism!

    "Let us go back to 2007 and look at where things started falling apart and ask ourselves who was at the helm"

    Do you mean in Congress? Nancy Pelosi.

    September 19, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. maria

    Where was all this talk from the Repugs and Demo's with the bush regime- illegal war, rich get richer, spying on American citizens, lying, did i saw lying?

    September 19, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. David G

    Looks like Tim Pawlenty is another Republican on the Insurance Industry payroll. The insurance system is broken and has to be fixed. Insurance premiums are going to bankrupt the country within 10 years if it is not fixed. Doing nothing to repair the system is the worst thing this country can do. The only thing the Republican Party cares about is retaining power at the expense of the American people. The spending the Democrats have done since OBama took office is to stop the collapse of the US economy The spending and deregulation the Republican's did the last 8 years is why the country is in bad shape today. The Democrats have to stop trying to appease the Republican Party, and pass a bill with the public option. The Democrats have the vote, they don't need the Republican's to make this work. The Republican Party has become a RIGHT WING RADICAL FRING GROUP with a lot of WACKO'S in their ranks.

    September 19, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Peoples Voice

    Shut up you phoney. Not once did you say anything about Bush spending this country into the poor house.

    September 19, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Doug from Minnesota

    I'm a proud Minnesotan, but I've had plenty of Pawlenty and wish he'd just retire to the north woods and get out of politics. He's just another smooth talker who doesn't know how to work with people who actually feel the struggles of a stifled economy.

    September 19, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Mamixztwo

    You'd think that, after the last election, the republican party would see that catering to the shrinking fringe of the GOP won't make them win any general election, unless you are running in a local election in the deep south. I am a liberal and realize that the majority of this country is somewhere in the center; I would vote for a moderate Republican if they showed that they could actually include all Americans and not just a select few on the edge – Bad move Republican party! It's time to move to the center with the rest of America !!!!!! Especially socially.

    September 19, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Stop Spending

    Wake up, we the voters are the ones that put these people into office. They cannot even balance their own check books. Repubs and dems spend money they don't have. The fault is not with either party, it is with the voters who keep sending the same people back to washington. Send a message in 2010, kick everyone out.

    September 19, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Bob Dole

    lol!!! "the annual Values Voter Summit"

    What are the Republicans values? maybe we should ask Ensign or Stafford.

    September 19, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. marcus (seattle)

    these republicans have NO credibility when it comes to questioning obama on the deficit... why ??? because not a ONE of them opened their mouth when W and bush sr and reagan were running up 13 TRILLION dollars of debt... if 14 trillion of debt is NOT a problem, then you can't expect me to believe you care SO much about the deficit because a democrat is running up 2 trillion in debt.. i'd have much more respect for these republicans if they had been complaining for the previous 8 years about W's deficits.. but, those deficits were perfectly fine... giving huge tax rebates to billionaires...

    September 19, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Mike In Carolina

    Pawlenty needs to wake up. The core health care proposal debate isn't about money. It's about our nation having the will to catch up with the rest of the industrialized world and provide health care for all of its' citizens. We find money for anything we decide to do from wars to space trips. This guy really doesn't care about people who are not covered or losing everything because they are ill. Killing the bill really means killing people.

    September 19, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. ScottoNH

    Yeah, ummm... someone may want to remind Pawlenty that it was the GOP that took us from surpluses to massive deficits to fight a war with no purpose or reason. Money that could have gone towards education, healthcare, paying DOWN the deficit. These are all things that should have been a priority, but the GOP dislikes middle class prosperity and prefers to ensure the top 1% are the ones who attain the nations wealth!!

    I will agree, in a time of mounting deficits and a poor economy, some of the Dems ideas are to expensive to implement at this time and we can all look to Medicare/cade, Social Sec. and Veteran Affairs as examples of govt. poorly running a program with public funds (oh heck, look at our public schools). There is plenty of blame to go around, but by far, the deepest reason for our current money problems has been the last 8 years of Bush wanting to right a war his Dad didn't finish. .... and we will all pay for THAT in the end! As long as the christian right continues to steal mainstream GOP values from the American public, the longer they will lay in defeat as more of us trend independent.

    September 19, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. grammy11

    Where was your mouth when the Bush Administration was wasting millions of dollars in Iraq and on Wall Street? I don't mean necessary spending, I mean the millions of dollars for unnecessary and unaccountable spending that lined the pockets of his friends. Maybe they were your friends, too. Perhaps you should find another way to criticize this Administration.There was not a peep out of the Republicans when that spending almost forced our great country into ruins.

    September 19, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Barb, Mpls MN

    Pawlenty is another Bush, he would take this country down the same road Bush did. He is attempting to set himself up as a Canidate for 2012. He has made a mess of Public Schools in Mn, obviously did not balance the budget, his extreme views put him right up there with the Bush dogma. No, I would not put much interest in what he says. He will be out there trying to shore up a image for the 2012 elections and that is his only interest. So, he will be feeding the Republican message and told what to say, he is a puppet for the Republican party and nothing more.

    September 19, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Randy, San Francisco

    Did not expect anything less from a typical GOP candidate. Many in the Republican Party were against the New Deal, Social Security, and Medicare. These programs were denounced as socialism and wasteful spending.

    September 19, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Liberal4Obama

    Lets see... if Pawlenty had spent money fixing that "Bridge To Somewhere" that fell under his watch lots of lives would have been saved.

    September 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Kevin

    No problem as long as he showed some consistency and criticized the Bush administration for reckless spending as well. So did he? I have a feeling he didn't.

    September 19, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. history says

    1980...no debt. 1988 trillions in deficits. GOP-Regonomics! Clinton years debt finally restrained. Bush years, debt grew exponentially. 9 months into Obama, all the GOP can do is point fingers about how right they are and how the dems are bringing down the US. WAKE UP CONSERVATIVES....you are being sold a lie!

    September 19, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Isaac

    Pawlenty.....YOU LIE!

    September 19, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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