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. Sean

    Pawlenty is a panderer, plain and simple. His comments either belie his total ignorance of economics, or his lack of a soul.

    September 19, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Paul

    If Governor Pawlenty is so concerned about government debts, where was he when the previous administration and its republican congress was piling 1.6 trillion in tax cuts on top of .8-1.5 trillion in unfunded medicare bills, on top of 2-3 trillion in iraq wars, on top of fiscal irresponsibility that brought the economy to the brink of collapse?

    And why must these debts be passed "onto our children"? Shouldn't republican advocates of fiscal responsibility own up to their blunders and advocate increases in taxes to insure that these debts are not "passed onto our children"?

    September 19, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Tracy

    Just another mouth contributing nothing just making sure he has face time in an attempt to be the candidate of choice in 2012......if you are unhappy with the spending then where were you for the past 8 years......here is a suggestion – go to DC knock on the door an offer constructive input to getting things resolved – oops, forgot, its not about resolving anything, its about painting each side of the aisle in the worse light to see who is on top in 2010 and 2012.

    September 19, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Sharon

    Let's see ... Clinton left office and there was a gigantic surplus. Bush left office and there was a gigantic deficit. Now we have a president trying to clean up the messes left ... not just financial, but the world's loss of faith in us. And who's complaining? The guys that made the mess to begin with. Disgusting.

    September 19, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. Chris in California

    I have just about had it with the short term memories of these right wingnuts who, for whatever reason, can't seem to remember the last eight years. Thank goodness the majority of this country does remember and won't be duped into believing any of this drivel. The right governs with fear while the left governs with radicalism. Lets find the center people and get this country united again or we're all in for a real world of hurt.

    September 19, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW

    Seriously, Governor Pawlenty, you've been looking like you're coming all unhinged since you embraced this new tactic of pandering to the radical right wing crazies of the Republican Party.

    You have an opportunity to lead the confused Republican Party into a better phase in its history, something it's lost these past 20 years since Newt steered it way off course.

    Feeding fear and hate and engaging in vitriolic attacks against the character of the Democratic Party leadership just isn't the way to go from here.

    September 19, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Jason

    I've ruined Minnesota, what can I ruin next!!! Oh I know, let me be President.

    September 19, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Wise Latina

    Dems are losing badly on the issues. Reps want to talk about runaway spending, dangers of government ownership of the healthcare and insurance industries (amongst others), enormous tax increases, perils of mounting debt and dollar devaluation, national defense, etc.

    Dem "leaders" respond by name calling those who have valid concerns for our country: racist, un-American, mobs, hate-mongers, scumbags, wingnuts, mental midgets. What weak, pathetic arguments!! It's hard to have an intellectual debate when the Dems are unarmed in the intelligence department!

    September 19, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. KG, MN

    This just in - in his quest to become the GOP 2012 nominee, moderate, "Sam's Club" Republican Tim Pawlenty has offically begun selling out by spewing forth typical Republican talking points.

    I guess he shops at Costco now.

    September 19, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Cindy

    Wow...It sounds like another Republican has such wisdom to offer the world. Puh-leeze! Stop spending money. Kill the healthcare bill. Yes Mr. Pawlenty you just seem to have so much to offer us all.
    I'm so sick and tired of Republicans and their tea bagging minions. Let the Republican party pander to their far right religious wack jobs. Let them cry about spending, and Czars and pretty much everything else they seem to know nothing about. Why I ask, do we even listen to them? Why do they get to control the healthcare debate? Now we have a proposal of insurance mandates, and no Public Option? I see once again, the 'insurance companies' being the only one's to gain from that proposal. Insurnace companies must love that. Thanks assisting to kill it Pawlenty. I won't forget that any time soon.

    September 19, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. sandlot

    To all those in the gop leadership crying about spending our hard earned tax dollars, how come NOT ONE OF YOU is proposing reversing the tax breaks for the super wealthy imposed on the rest of us by the Bush administration. This alone could pay for meaningful health care reform. Single payer now!

    September 19, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Larry

    Just another Republican mouthpiece ...

    Same old rhetoric lacking any reality

    How does this stuff become news with so many real issues out there

    THE PARTY OF NO- thing

    September 19, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Interesting that Tim is worried about our debt and says health care, 1 trillion over 10 years paid for by tax increases to the wealthy, is going to put us over the top instead of the 2 wars we are running on a credit card (aka no taxes have been levied to pay for them).

    Secondly, no new taxes sounds good. But it's not feasible. Regardless of who is in power, taxes will need to be raised because of the baby boomers, our 2 wars, our current military budget and our health insurance subsidizes.

    Talk is cheap Tim, how bout some real answers.

    September 19, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Zion

    Value voters is short hand for low information voters.

    September 19, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Bill Sampson

    It was George W. Bush that turned surpluses to deficits. The current deficit spending is primarily due to the high costs associated with two wars Mr. Bush started (one under false pretenses) and efforts to stabilize the economy that went into a tailspin the last year of the Bush presidency. In times of recession, the Federal Government is wise to deficit spend to prop up falling demand for goods and services. We should have been reducing debt during the good years (as Clinton did), but George W. Bush was hardly a prudent manager of this nation's finances. Mr. Pawlenty understands all of this but finds it politically expedient to say otherwise.

    September 19, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Alessandro Senerchia

    One nation, united under one flag, divided by a river of ignorance and rhetoric from extremists on both margins.

    September 19, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Annie

    Again I'll ask – where was Mr Pawlenty between 2000 and 2008?

    It galls me to see all these republicans wake up and all of a sudden have an objection to government spending.

    September 19, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. JD in Moraga, CA

    We should be suprised by this? Hello, people – he was addressing the "values voter summit," so what do you expect him to say?

    September 19, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Sentinel

    Mr. Pawlenty, why were you so quiet during the Bush-Cheney years?? Could it be that you ignored the heinous abuse of power by Bush and Cheney – because you are just like them?? Why else would you support that kind of corruption?? You have no excuses! You are what you support! Republicans, get over yourselves and do something good for the country instead of trying to tear it apart – solely for the purpose of regaining power. Your behavior clearly shows that you do not care about the country. You have no intention of pulling with this president, or any Democrat, to solve the worse economic crisis since the Great Depression! The Republicans are mostly responsible for the biggest loss of wealth in the history of the world – mega trillion$!! And all you can think of is trying to sabotage this president so you can have power back! Despite appearances, you are losing this battle. Have you noticed that the Republican’s approval rate is a meager 21%?? That 21% probably represents the number of right-wing extremists in the population.

    September 19, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. Mike

    I guess the governor failed to observe that the federal deficit hit the $10 trillion dollar mark in Oct 2008... before the 2008 elections... before "Dems" and the President even boarded this sinking ship which is the current American Economy.

    When you're out of ideas, you just make stuff up, I guess. If attacks that don't hold water is what these guys have left, I am guessing that we've almost seen the last of their kind. (One can hope at least).

    September 19, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Dan

    I think Mr. Pawlenty is suffering from a severe memory problem, amnesia, or is in complete denial. Wait, he's playing politics, as usual.

    I am not affiliated with either party, but neither has shown spending responsibility ever. Dems spend recklessly, Reps spend the money we don't have, by borrowing and creating deficits, giving us an illusion of fiscal responsibility.

    We really need responsible private citizens to run our country, not politicians!

    September 19, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Mark

    All the stupid liberals who think there will be no consequences for not being able to pay our national debt.

    September 19, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. rick

    good grief! he needs to just shut up. most of america already loathes this guy.

    September 19, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. JFK

    Another Republican hypocrite. What about Bush and our wars we didnt need? No answer from the right as usual on that spending. We rebuilt Iraq and now we cant rebuild America? How many more bridge collapses do we need? How about fixing our health care system from the spiraling increases? Oh, sorry that might be too logical for the rightwing to understand. While I acknowledge we have to limit our spending sooner rather than later, this was needed spending. We may have just avoided the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression due to the Obama stimulus and Bush initiated bailouts. That actually might be the best thing Bush did ever for us other than leaving office of course!

    September 19, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. Brian

    Wow, you should run for President!

    Thanks for playing!

    September 19, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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