May 23rd, 2010
10:32 AM ET
8 years ago

'Be for change,' Pawlenty tells incumbents

'It’s not just anti-incumbent. It’s what that incumbency represents,' Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said of the political climate Sunday on CNN.

'It’s not just anti-incumbent. It’s what that incumbency represents,' Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said of the political climate Sunday on CNN.

Washington (CNN) – One of the possible contenders for the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nod has some guidance for incumbents running in 2010’s tough, anti-establishment political environment.

“I think the best advice for anybody running is to be for change,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

Wearing the hat of a political strategist for a few moments, the Republican governor parsed the current political climate which is toppling incumbents in Congress even before November’s midterm general election.

“It’s not just anti-incumbent. It’s what that incumbency represents. It represents a commitment to – or a sense of a commitment – to a flawed past, flawed strategies, out-of-control spending, out-of-control deficits, an economy that has not yet recovered … is sputtering.

“So that’s not just against incumbents. It’s dissatisfaction with the substance underneath it and it really relates profoundly to the economy,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty is widely considered by political observers to be laying the groundwork for a White House bid in 2012. His term as Minnesota’s chief executive is up early next year and in the past two weeks he has emerged victorious in a budget stand-off with the state’s Democratically controlled legislature.

Filed under: 2010 • State of the Union • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. ib

    I usually vote a split ticket and you bet we need to change away from the change of Obama and company and I really don't think the GOP has any answers to that because they have changed to the point of going along with most of this out of controll spending. Both parties can take blame for getting away from the core values and destroying this country if it continues on the path we are on now.

    May 23, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    "Be For Change?"
    How about just telling the truth about who you are, what you stand for and what you desire to do?
    How about defining YOURSELF and letting others do the same.
    How about being EXACT, when you call someone a "Communist" or "Socialist," explain why you believe it, in SPECIFIC TERMS. When you name call, be factual.

    How about those things?

    May 23, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Couldn't even oversee the maintenance of one bridge in one state, and he wants to be the one to run the entire country (DON'T THINK SO !!)

    He's an idiot.

    May 23, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. katiec

    In hearing, reading comments from the people of Minnesota, Pawlenty is a total diaster as a governor and would not get re-elected if he ran.
    Now he thinks he can run our country??
    Typical big business, ultra conservative republican who do not support middle class America and the welfare of our country.

    May 23, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. chenna benna

    How can the incumbents be for change if they are the problem? That is like asking them to be for the other guy in the race.

    May 23, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. FM

    GOP do not even come with their own slogan just only borrowing "CHANGE". Thats why nobody understands what they stand for! And this justifies why they are always sticking on saying "NO" to everything! They have nothing.

    May 23, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Liz the First

    The change people should be voting for is away from the party that caused most of the problems in this country today, and that would be the Party of NO! and now that we Democrats are trying to clean up after them ONCE AGAIN, they're trying to block us at every turn. It's like they're in love with the crap they created. Don't throw out incumbents who are working for you, throw out the incumbents who MADE THE MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE. so anywhere you see a republican't on the ballot, vote him or her out!

    May 23, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. uscentral

    chenna benna (whatever that means): you captured my sentiments exactly. Whatever happened to running on one's track record? Or, having ideas and plans?

    May 23, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. Michael

    When the media first talked about Pawlenty in 2008, he seemed as a very fair-minded person, but since he was not going to be vice president, he's become a suck-up to the fringe of the Republican Party. Gingrich, recently showed how much of a suck-up he can be to the hard right. Mitt Romney is sucking up to the hard right as well, hoping that they (the wingnuts) would not pay attention to his past flip-flops. Speaking of anti-incumbency, Pawlenty is an unpopular incumbent himself. There are grown-ups in the GOP, but Pawlenty, his sidekick Bachmann, Palin, Steve King (Iowa 5th district) iand some others are not.

    May 23, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. BeverlyNC

    Oh so now a Republican is for "change"? It certainly would have been nice had they been for helping the American People during the most critical phases of the economic disaster they caused. It would have been patriotic for them to stand up for the People when their buddy corporations were abusing working families in jobs being sent overseas, healthcare denial on a whim, and bank corruption on credit card rates and refusal to work to stop home foreclosures.

    A change for the Republican Party would for them to be human beings with common decency, the ability to tell the the truth, to stop being racist because we have a brilliant black President who knows how to lead, and for Republicans members of Congress to actually do their job, up hold their oath to serve the People who elected them and not be the obstructionists that are anti-American and pro-corporations.

    HA- that will never happen! The change we need is to rid Congress of more do-nothing lunatic Republicans so we can move our country forward. We need leaders with solutions not losers who sit on the sidelines whining and criticizing everything positive our President has accomplished. Goodbye GOP – you are a scourge on America.

    May 23, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Gil

    I hope being for change does not mean being for the right wing nut case religious radical teabugger Rand Paul? The Party of No has lost its way and been taken over by "Brown Shirts!" Soon, their "Loyalty Oath" will be manditory!

    May 23, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. dan smith

    I'm for change alright, as in giving the Libertarian Party a shot at it. They can't screw things up anymore than the two major parties have the last 22 years.

    May 23, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. bill stapp

    Gov. Pawlenty has articulated the problem. Our elected officials have slid too far away from the Constitution. They seem to make any of their favorite projects fit ... mostly under the disguise of promoting the general welfare.

    If I buy my family some food... I am promoting their welfare. But if I get in a mood to take them and the neighbors out to an expensive dinner, they still get to eat, but I am no longer promoting their welfare... I am hurting them.

    It is important to see that although taking my family out to eat is a good idea... sometimes I just cannot afford it.

    Government must back off from the expensive buffet and get back to basics. Otherwise, they will have no option but to pass the value added tax and then expect the American people to work a little more to pay for it. Many people just cannot see how they can stop spending when they don't have the money, but the government spends all it can and then borrows all it can and then decides that in a year or two we all will have to pay all we can. The government needs to get off its can and start making sure that the government agencies work as if they were paying for it themselves.

    May 23, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Livin' the good life

    I guess "change" was not good enough for them when Obama ran on that platform huh? The only change you can expect from the Relic's is either more smoke, mirrors or the direction they point their big ol' fingers to place "blame", pass the buck, and NOt own up to who was actually responsible for the state of affairs we are STILL in due to THEIR past judgments/mistakes...Beau Colby

    May 23, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. dan smith

    Yeah let's change welfare. It's ridiculous that you have to pay income tax on social security, something you manditoraly pay into and only get a pittance of it back, meanwhile welfare recipients get food stamps, government subsidized housing, a monthly stipend and don't have to pay any taxes to boot. That is just plain wrong headed.

    May 23, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Ridgeway

    Not a word about the GOP win in Hawaii. Meaningless to CNN I guess because it's a "mid-term" and only temporary. Right. Get this. The majority of Americans support AZ's attempt to clean the sewer rats out of the State and the same goes for Washington. Sorry bunch of gutter snipes. Come in and steal taxpayer money to buy votes pandering to illegals and welfare bums. In November you liberal, socialist creeps are done. First 2 year lame duck President in history. Bye, bye Nancy and Harry you mean spirited jerks.
    And for all the folks who stood up and applauded Calderone eat crap and die. Idiots. Mexico treats illegals worse than any country.

    May 23, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. johnnyhouse

    I think we have had a bellyful of change.

    May 23, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Blake in Atlanta is indeed about simply voting incumbents out.
    Vote them out America. All of them.
    Let them go search for a job in the marketplace they have left for you to seek employment in.
    Funny thing there.....there are NO JOBS.
    It's the economy stupid!

    May 23, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Marge

    From a Minnesotan this guy should run and hide and as quickly as possible. He did to Minnesota what Bush did to the country. Phewlenty took a good running state with a surplus and with his tax cut tax cut for the rich he put us in the worst hole we have ever been in. His term can't end quick enough. And he wouldn't be governor if it wasn't for the questional totals of Hinkypinky County and Minneapolis. He over came a 100K deficit. How we all want to know. And the darn opponent did not go for a recount.

    May 23, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. tony

    Change from what? Back to the way things were before Obama? Did Republicans forgot we voted for change from them less than 2 years ago? Do we want to go back to budget-busting tax-cutting (which the supply-siders insisted would generate greater revenue, but the 5-trillion-dollar national debt under Bush appeared to prove otherwise) AND out-of-control spending (the last Bush budget had a deficit of 1.3 trillion)?

    May 23, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. johnnyhouse

    All the heat and hate is on the rich man. Next time you need a job ask a bum on the street.

    May 23, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Edwin


    I personally think it is a good idea to allow as many Americans as possible to eat from time to time. But since you seem to disagree, how about looking at it from another perspective:

    Welfare, food stamps, and the like are a kind of insurance. When people are not just poor but desperately poor, they have no reason not to riot. Look at the third world nations and the violence of the rioting (and civil wars) from time to time. The nations that generally avoid these really violent outbursts are of two kinds: the ones with social programs, and the ones with totalitarian dictatorships (you know, curfews at sun down, police shooting violators, no trials for anyone, etc.).

    I gladly buy insurance on my house, even though I will hopefully never need it. I also gladly buy insurance against rioting, because I don't think America would be as pleasant a country under the alternatives.

    May 23, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Livin' the good life

    This is from the party of "I can't recall". Remember all the Gopers stating under oath THAT phrase? Do we REALLY want someone to be a public servant if they cannot "recall" what they did or said!? It's akin to pleading temporary insanity. Who's to say they will NOT become insane again!? These people cannot be trusted with the American political process. They think it is a career and they get all the bells and whisles of healthcare for life that they are/tried to limit from the people who put them there and take the money from...Beau Colby

    May 23, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Edwin

    Ridgeway: you seem to have so much anger. But I do find it ironic that you call Pelosi and Reid "mean spirited jerks" since you obviously understand that phrase all too well. Your entire post is full of mean (and largely unsubstantiated) comments.

    If this is how you feel most of the time, I hope you consider therapy. Or at least some relaxation techniques.

    May 23, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. FactCheck

    You mean the kind of change that resulted in involvement in two wars, a massive decline in regulation, outsourcing of all jobs, and the biggest recession in nearly a century? How did all of that work out last time??

    May 23, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
1 2