February 12th, 2010
03:44 PM ET
4 years ago

Pawlenty lays blame for GOP failures

Gov. Tim Pawlenty distanced himself from the Bush administration in an interview with Esquire Magazine published Friday.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty distanced himself from the Bush administration in an interview with Esquire Magazine published Friday.

Washington (CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty appears to be distancing himself from the Bush administration and some national Republicans in an Esquire Magazine interview published Friday.

Pawlenty, a Republican and two-term governor, said in the wide-ranging interview that the Republican party "blew it" and "got fired for a reason."

"The Republicans had their shot not long ago to address the real needs and concerns of everyday Americans, and they blew it.... We got fired for a reason," Pawlenty told Esquire. "We just lost our way. You can't say that your hallmark issues are that we're going to control spending, keep taxes low, and make government accountable, and then go to Washington and do the opposite.... Let's face it, when Republicans had total control over it, they didn't do what they said they were gonna do."

Pawlenty told Esquire the difference between rhetoric and action had consequences. "We got our cans kicked – for two election cycles in a row. The marketplace measurement in politics is something called an election. It's a pretty good barometer – it's transparent, it's numerical, it's objective. It gives you a pretty good measure of what your customers think of you. And in 2006 and 2008, the marketplace was telling the Republicans, 'We prefer the products and services of your competitors.'"

Pawlenty also spoke out about "name-calling" when asked if he thought President Obama is a socialist.

"You know, I don't think name-calling is helpful. I've done my share of that, so I'm not Pollyannaish about how the political process works," he said. "But as a general proposition, I think these are serious times, the country's in significant danger, and I think we need people who are thoughtful. We're gonna have sharp differences, but we need to debate those in a way that's constructive and civil. I think President Obama is governing as a movement liberal. I don't think that rises to the level of being a socialist."

Pawlenty announced last summer that he would not seek a third term as governor, feuling speculation that he will make a bid for the White House.

Pawlenty made trips to primary states New Hampshire and Iowa late last year and has attended several high-profile Republican Party events across the country.


Filed under: 2012 • GOP • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    He's definetly right about the republicans blowing it...no can he make them stop trying to put all the blame on President Obama? I have a feeling that will never happen.

    February 12, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Ryan

    You are right T-Paw they did loose their way. But what have you done for us Minnesotans these past years? Claimed to lower taxes. My property taxes have gone up every year you have been in office, by a lot! I am tired of your same story TAXES. I am glad you are not going to be our Gov any longer.

    You are no different than those republicans that loss their way. You blame it all on something/someone else.

    Really what have you done for Minnesotans??

    February 12, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    He is a liar! Do not be fooled again by the GOP or the Democrats. ask Gov. Pawlenty where is funding is coming from? ask who owns him?
    Both of these parties are bought and paid for by the Special interest groups, PACs, Unions, Wall Street, banking, global Corporations are all contributing billions to re-election funds that undermine the people's representation
    I say in 2010 ask who is funding your representative? Look to see where the money is coming from? If the money comes from outside your voter district then who do you think they will represent if they are elected or re-elected? We need to bring these professional politicians back into line.
    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    February 12, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. vwrtb

    Give us another chance... We promise to change... Sounds exactly like a CEO talking to its employees before a union vote... Remember... The corporations ask for unions by not treating their employees right...

    February 12, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Here's the GOP's strategy in a nutshell:

    1. Spread fear, hate and lies, in an effort to divide the American people.
    Try to convince people that the government is the problem.

    2. At the same time, run for elected office, saying that you'll "clean up" government.

    3. Once in power, continue to bilk that same government for as much money as possible.

    4. Most importantly, de-regulate business, cut back on oversight, pack the court with judges sympathetic to free-for-all business practices, and in general, turn over everything to the private sector.

    The result: A dog-eat-dog world, where the wealthy have all the money and power, the U.S. becomes a third-world nation, the Middle Class no longer exists and, for good measure, use religious police (a la Saudi Arabia) to keep the struggling masses in line.

    February 12, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. m smith

    one of the few comments made by a republican that was not offensive. If more talked like that I might listen

    February 12, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. Bob in Pa

    gee thats a wonder when hes from the great state that put the flaming liberal in the Senate.

    February 12, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. Louis

    I am speechless!!!

    A republican that speaks truth!!! Thought that species went out with the dinosaurs!!!

    However, unless he gets the other Rush sheep on board, it is for naught.

    Anybody with half a brain knows that the mess that President Obama is dealing with is Republican created. Also, it will take more than one year to right this sinking ship!!!

    Americans want and deserve much, much better than what we have been getting from the Republican Party, both on a national and local basis. Making rich men richer will not solve many of America's problems!!! Remember Rome?

    February 12, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. 101sonny

    Sounds too good to be true.If he runs a republican I will not vote for him nor consider him.As an independent I would first examine democrate canidate and that person would have to be exceptionally incompentent,for me to vote independent.Iwould not trust him in democrate camp.I do commend him and will watch to see from now on if he can emerge as a leader from block voting or this is just more blah blah.I'am making a crib note now as I type......Bernie

    February 12, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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