October 26th, 2009
03:26 PM ET
4 years ago

Pawlenty joins GOP crowd in backing Hoffman

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is bucking his own party.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is bucking his own party.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Just four days after professing ignorance about the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district, Tim Pawlenty changed course Monday and decided to endorse Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman instead of the Republican in the race.

Pawlenty's move follows decisions by other prominent national conservatives - including Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, Dick Armey and Rick Santorum - to line up against the GOP candidate, Dede Scozzafava. They and other activists on the right have accused Scozzafava of being too liberal for the GOP, and are throwing resources and support to Hoffman.

The Minnesota governor, who is courting conservatives as he mulls a possible 2012 presidential bid, made his endorsement in an e-mail to the blog RedState.

"We cannot send more politicians to Washington who wear the Republican jersey on the campaign trail, but then vote like Democrats in Congress on issues like card check and taxes," Pawlenty said in the statement. "After reviewing the candidates' positions, I'm endorsing Doug Hoffman in New York's special election. Doug understands the federal government needs to quit spending so much, will vote against tax increases, and protect key values like the right to vote in private in union elections."

Last Thursday, after a fundraiser in Washington, Pawlenty told reporters he wasn't following the race and declined to make an endorsement.

"You know I haven't been following that, I haven't studied the race at all," he said at the time. "It's not that I would or wouldn't, I just don't know anything about it. I haven't taken the time to study their positions, their records, so I haven't taken a position on it."

Scozzafava and Hoffman are on the ballot along with Democrat Bill Owens. Election Day is November 3.

UPDATE: A Pawlenty aide reports that the governor's recently-created "Freedom First" political action committee will donate $2,400 to the Hoffman campaign, the maximum contribution allowed. The gift marks the PAC's first donation since it was formed earlier this month.


Filed under: Dede Scozzafava • Doug Hoffman • NY-23 • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. JP

    Every step to the far right is a step away from winning an election. Did we learn learn nothing with Palin destroying McCains chance to win.

    October 26, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. simp

    Big Bird (Pawlenty) is such a liar. Last week he wasn't following the race now he's endorsing this guy, just another Republician doing what he does best, LIE!!!!!!!

    October 26, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Ron

    Just another Republican pandering to the extreme right, and writing any Republican that differs out of the party. The Republican Party is getting smaller by the day. I regret that the Republican Party is writing its own obituary. We need at least two( or three strong), viable parties. This is not the Republican Party that I grew up with!

    October 26, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Donkey Party

    The GOP is charting its own course to extinction with the likes of Palin, Pawlenty and Bachmann (only to name a few) taking the party further right.

    October 26, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. George James

    Birds of the same feather flock togather....Palin and Pawlenty!!!

    October 26, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. probama in paradise

    This guy has to be scary if he's being backed by the Quitta and Pawlenty...hope he loses by a landslide!

    October 26, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Shadysider

    And here I thought that fiscal conservatives were going to split from the crazy that is the Republican Party. If social conservatives are leaving that means the Republican Party may still be viable if they can get real about fiscal responsibility and not be beholden to big business lobbyists.

    October 26, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Minnesotan

    This guy is not a leader people... he is a follower. Do not take him seriously! He does what he needs to to get elected... including pandering to his base of crazies which would naturally involve rejecting any moderate voice in the GOP... even though he is and actively was... one of them.

    October 26, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. me

    Way to follow in Sarah's footsteps....:)

    October 26, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. vic nashville , Tn

    I am enjoying this story

    Because FOX totally confused on this story

    Remember the Tea party that tea party behind of this political circus

    I love it because I believe karma

    October 26, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. mom2noodles

    Interesting that Tim Pawlenty takes a position on this just 4 days after saying he knows nothing about it. He should probably pay a little more attention to Minnesota because he has presided over record budget-deficits for years, and has consistently vetoed efforts to balance the state budget. Maybe he is too busy thinking about other state's to worry about ours? Oh no wait, I guess he isn't thinking about anything other than his own political ambitions.

    October 26, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. tommygunn

    I think Tom would make a good VP to P Sarah.....what do you think...

    October 26, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Ray

    PALIN/BACHMANN 2012!!!

    Sounds like you would much perfer a dictatorship over a democracy.

    October 26, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. John from NY

    This is my home district and I am proud to back Doug Hoffman for his Conservative Economic principles and for no other reason. We need some practical economic thinking in Washington to mix in with some of the ideological dopes there now.
    I stand firmly against any other statutes of the conservative party.
    We simply need some responsible economic participation here.

    October 26, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Angie in PA

    They are never going to learn! I guess its going to take another round of voting them out to get it! DEMS IN 2010!!

    October 26, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Lynda

    He didn't even know the guy last week enough to put his support in his corner, now since Palin did he follows in her foot steps.......this man evidently doesn't have a mind of his own.......if this man Hoffman is a conservative like Palin then he is not what we want........so Scozzafave votes like a Democrat.......that must mean that person votes bipartisian and the crazy right wing conservatives can't stand that.......they need more Scozzafave's in their party instead of the Palin's, Hoffman's, Pawlenty's.........

    October 26, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Lila

    PALIN/BACHMANN 2012!!!

    WHOA....You're kinda scary....

    October 26, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Jane

    I'm surprised the Gov did this unless he thinks by doing this the Republican will squeak out a victory just like he did in the last governor's election in Minnesota. The Independent Candidate saved his job by draining more votes from the democratic candidate than the republican; but not enough votes to win.

    I'm counting down the days until T-Paw is not my state's governor!

    October 26, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. The Essential Republican

    Let the Dems have the big tent; all we need is an umbrella!

    October 26, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Jim, San Antonio

    Lemmings over the cliff!

    October 26, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. Kansan

    Too liberal for the GOP is a good thing...when is the GOP going to learn that their idea of consevatism NO WAY represents what it originally did.

    October 26, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Moderate Democrat

    He got his GOP marching orders. Nothing but a thoughless moron, like all members of the republican party.

    October 26, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. cora

    pawlenty is faulty' can't be trusted.

    October 26, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. demsrulz

    Republican... Conservative... Libertarian... All unions for corporate america... Pass efca and rebuild the middle class dems!

    October 26, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Chris - Denver

    Good. OK I'm liberal but I really do hope the Conservative party rises to prominence. An honest, principled conservative you can at least have a productive discussion with and find common ground. These theocrats and neocons who have taken over the GOP are just willfully ignorant and dangerous!

    October 26, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
1 2