June 30th, 2010
12:23 PM ET
4 years ago

Pawlenty meets with top Republicans in South Carolina

Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty lent a hand to Nikki Haley on Tuesday.
Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty lent a hand to Nikki Haley on Tuesday.

(CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made his first visit to the early primary state of South Carolina on Tuesday and became the latest potential presidential candidate to donate to Republican Nikki Haley's gubernatorial campaign.

Pawlenty spoke to about sixty activists and business leaders at the Spartanburg home of South Carolina GOP chairwoman Karen Floyd about the threat of government spending and the need to elect Republicans in November, according to people present at the fundraiser, which benefited the state party.

Though he was accompanied on the trip by Terry Nelson, a senior adviser to his political operation, Pawlenty did not mention any potential White House ambitions.

He also chatted privately with Haley, an up-and-coming GOP star who is certain to be a key player in presidential politics as the 2012 primary season approaches.

Potential White House candidates Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney each endorsed and contributed to Haley before her primary and runoff victories earlier this month, with Romney managing to donate an eye-popping $42,000 through various chapters of his Free and Strong America political action committee.

Pawlenty donated $3,500 to Haley this week through his Freedom First PAC, according to his spokesman Alex Conant, and $3,000 to Sen. Jim DeMint. Both Haley and DeMint backed Romney during the last presidential cycle.

The Minnesota governor has more political activity scheduled for Wednesday, when he travels to Rock Hill to help raise money for House candidate Mick Mulvaney. Along with donations to Haley and DeMint, Pawlenty has contributed $2,000 to Mulvaney and the rest of state's Republican congressional candidates: Tim Scott, Jeff Duncan and Rep. Joe Wilson.

He's also slated to attend a luncheon in Columbia with several of the state's business leaders and top GOP donors who are looking for a candidate to back in 2012. According to former South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson, who was invited to the sit-down, the lunch meeting will include "a group of very influential Republicans."

After the lunch, Pawlenty and Nelson will meet with Republican strategists Richard Quinn and Trey Walker - the team that managed John McCain's two presidential campaigns in the state - along with several GOP statewide candidates, including lieutenant governor candidate Ken Ard and Attorney General candidate Alan Wilson.


Filed under: 2010 • 2012 • Nikki Haley • South Carolina • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Tim Pawlenty is aligned with Palin and Bachmann. Enough said!!!!

    June 30, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. Victim of GOP Taliban

    What a fine mess...wonder what the next chapter is in the soap opera.
    Telling the media that the governor is going for a hike when he really is cheating on his wife...the new governor candidate also cheats on spouse with a "blogger"...some mystery Dem finds $10K from "friends" while unemployed?

    June 30, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Michael Anthony

    For someone who governs a state that is in serious financial difficulty, Pawlenty certainly spends an awful lot of time outside of Minnesota. And Minnesotan's are not taking kindly to his inattention to pressing state matters.

    June 30, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Rush Limbaugh marries ambulance chaser,and were still laughing

    The chipmonk is in the right state now,with the rest of the morons.hahaha

    June 30, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    To Pawlenty and the rest of the Republicans, weren't you in office over the past 8 years during the time this economic disaster was unfolding. Did you just stand by as you're doing now, making complaints and still doing nothing to help. The people that put you office deserve help in helping our President, because when you help him you help them, the people.

    June 30, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. lsboogy

    This is a Republican who does not balance a budget, but rather kicks the can down the road for the next person in line. God help us if the Grover Norquist folks get more power – starving the beast has only thrown us deeper into debt, and has left the next generation with a bleaker future.

    June 30, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. SH

    Michael Anthony June 30th, 2010 12:41 pm ET

    For someone who governs a state that is in serious financial difficulty, Pawlenty certainly spends an awful lot of time outside of Minnesota. And Minnesotan's are not taking kindly to his inattention to pressing state matters.

    I agree!

    June 30, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Doc

    So everyone from outside the state gets to donate to their favorite politician? How can anyone in any state think that their senators or reps serve them when they are courting more money from out of state than within it? Should outside forces get to decide who gets to run for office in a state? This ain't freedom of speech!

    June 30, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Shucks

    Can't wait to see all 250 + potential republican candidates for 2012. Should be better than any reality TV or comedy show ever broadcast.

    June 30, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, Tim. Have you started your presidential campaign tour by stating how you think the Dept. of Education no longer serves its purpose? Have you begun yet to point out that those who are unable to now afford college tuition should consider a . . . what did you call it . . . I-Phone degree?

    Or, are you still plugging for less taxes, less government . . . the very same less tax, less government policies which have brought our great state to it's knees?

    One more thing, Tim. We in Minnesota are still awaiting your explanation as to why - back in 2005 - your administration spent a great deal of time and energy promising Minnesotans a million dollar budget surplus by 2010 . . . and yet . . here it is 2010.

    Five billion dollar deficit, Tim. That's what we got from 8 years of conservative policies.

    June 30, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Pragmatic

    Pawlenty’s leadership has taken the state of Minnesota from having a financial surplus to having a $5 billion dollar deficit. That's what his real record is!

    "The dead-enders are still with us, those remnants of the defeated regimes who'll go on fighting long after their cause is lost." – Donald Rumsfeld 8/25/03

    June 30, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Wisconsinite - the GObP Loves Big Oil, But Hates Suffering Americans

    Awwww TimPaw . . . . you'll NEVER be POTUS. We know that's where you think this is going for you, but mark my words . . . .you'll just NEVER be POTUS!

    June 30, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. tim

    This story just gets darker and darker...who are these maniacs?

    June 30, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. Jane Krummel

    Governor: I'm counting down the days to when you are no longer the MN governor! Let's see how many people outside of MN that you can fool.

    June 30, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. bill

    Pawlenty is leaving behind a massive budget deficit for his successor to handle. This is not leadership. He is not what the Republican Party wants or needs right now.

    June 30, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Jeff in Virginia

    Peter Hamby shows his cards again...

    Does this guy EVER say anything critical of a Republican, or anything nice about a Democrat?

    From the looks of it, CNN is paying this guy to hang out in SC rubbing elbows with the power-elite. He should be asking them tough questions about uncomfortable subjects, because that's what real journalists are supposed to do.

    June 30, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Linda

    CNN: do you research on how incompetent Pawlenty was (he is and has been an absentee Governor) as Governor of Minnesota.

    He is a wingnut, obstructionist who destroyed the economy of the
    State of Minnesota!

    June 30, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. MN Hockey Mom

    Quick Minnesota.... everyone turn off your lights and be real quiet. If Timmy thinks we not here – perhaps he won't come back!!!

    June 30, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. timz

    Which one did he get to have an "inappropriate" relationship with?

    June 30, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Susan in NC

    Dream on, Pawlenty! NOT gonna happen!

    June 30, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. CathyInAZ

    I lived for over 26 years in MN with friends and family still there. None of them are too pleased with Gov. Pawlenty. He has given up on MN without actually leaving office (i.e. Sarah Palin), aligned himself with the likes of Michelle Bachmann – for that alone he should have to forfit aspirations of higher office.

    June 30, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Gil

    Too conservative and a nut case! I'm surprised that Minnesota could produce someone so out of touch!

    June 30, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    Down there gettin' purified by Demented and the C-Street religious GODS that can do no wrong as long as THEY forgive each other.

    Maybe he's learning how to let another interstate bridge collapse and blame it on the dems.

    June 30, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Michel

    I fully understand the need to be fiscally conservative and efficient. But I believe there is a fundamental flaw in the Republican platform that does not get enough attention and that is this idea of "big government". They speak as if government is some huge "other" when in fact it includes to one degree or another, all of us. Teachers, doctors, nurses, construction workers, professors, police officers, firefighters, etc. are all part of the government system in some way or another. In a country of this size, if we want to run effectively, we need a central organizing system that can do this. Can we be more efficient? Of course, but maybe we can start by scaling back our war effort rather than denying people access to health care, education, clean water, nice roads and what have you.

    June 30, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Does this guy even have a job?

    Obama makes speech to drum up support current legislative initiative on important, pressing issue of immediate concern to national issue = GOPers screaming about him doing nothing but campaigning.

    Numbnut GOP governor flies around making political speaches in other states to PACs and other fundraising organizations = GOPers silent and suspiciously absent from the commentary section.

    June 30, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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