July 29th, 2010
03:58 PM ET
4 years ago

Pawlenty outlines life story, political philosophy

Potential Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has released a video touting his conservative credentials.
Potential Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has released a video touting his conservative credentials.

Washington (CNN) – Potential Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty posted a video Thursday on his website that offers a biographical snapshot and emphasizes his conservative credentials a full year before the first test of the GOP presidential primary.

At no point in the 3 minute and 34 second video does Pawlenty mention his interest in running for the White House, but based upon his political travel and organizing activities the retiring governor is taking the necessary steps to launch a campaign for the GOP nomination.

While Pawlenty is a two-term governor, vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and was on the short list to be Sen. John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential race, public polling shows he trails other well known Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich in hypothetical 2012 match-ups.

Sitting in a chair, a tieless Pawlenty narrates the short bio video in which he stresses his blue collar roots. As the background music gains momentum into a cinematic crescendo, the Minnesota governor outlines his conservative fiscal philosophy.

"We need strong leaders who are going to stand up, rise up, tell the truth, tell the American people the system is broken, it's headed towards the cliff and we need to stop it before it happens," Pawlenty says in the video that highlights his political action committee. "And the way we do that is to start by getting control on spending, have a budget, live within our means, set priorities and then do those things that we are going to do well. But we have to start reducing and slowing down spending in every other category."

Pawlenty also appears to try and differentiate himself from the other potential GOP candidates, think Romney, as he explains his appeal beyond Republican base voters.

"When people say, 'Oh you Republicans, you know, you don't understand us, you haven't walked in our shoes, you don't know what its like to worry about whether you can afford gas for your car, whether you are going to have health care, whether you can even get to college or pay your tuition for college," Pawlenty says. "I can look them right in the eye and say, 'Yes I have. I've walked exactly in those shoes. I've lived that life and so I can relate to them with some credibility that at least allows me to make the case from a conservative standpoint of why our ideas, our values, our principles are better for their hopes and dreams.'"

Pawlenty heads to Iowa this weekend, home to the first nominating contest in the GOP presidential campaign early in 2012. But in August 2011, a straw poll considered to be a reliable yardstick to measure a candidate's strength in the state, will be held in Ames.

Follow Mark Preston on Twitter: @prestoncnn


Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Laho Zaher

    Smellsplenty! Who is he again? Somewhere in the darkness oif MN some guy is wanking, while Newt, Palin and Romnet get all the press. So he comes out w this Fargo story and want sto be Pres?
    Gahood Lahuck, La hoozer

    July 29, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. JLA

    When people hear what his partisan policies and lack of real leadership did to the state of MN they will not want to elect Pawlenty dog catcher. He is pathetic and much more concerned with his own political career than what is good for his state or country.

    July 29, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Lindsey Graham amendment

    Why is the party that claims to love the Constitution continually tries to change it? CNN can you cover a real story?

    July 29, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Jimbo (The Real One)

    Pawlenty? Romney? Palin? Gingrich? Does the GOP really expect to win back the the White House with someone from this bunch...? Obama could build a statue of Karl Marx on the white house lawn and still beat anyone from this group in 2012.

    July 29, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Jane (Minnesota)

    This coming from a Governor who ran Minnesota into such deep financial trouble hugging "No New Taxes". My property taxes have nearly doubled since he's been Governor. He also refused to increase the gas tax for road repair just months before the I-35W bridge collapsed. I'm counting the days to when Minnesota gets a new governonr, just like President Obama, the new Governor is inheriting a 2 term GOP mess – this time from T-Paw.

    July 29, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Hugo

    I wish that an Independent no name private business owner would step up and run. He or She could have an awesome chance to win, and change Washington forever...All they would have to do is:
    1. promise to prosecute every existing, past and present politician on evidence of profiteering from their elected position and/or corruption.
    2. enforce our laws
    3. bring our servicemen home
    4. down size government and make those agencies work and be held accountable
    5. Revamp the healthcare bill and enact tort law reform to make it work for citizens and businesses and lose all the entitlement BS
    6. Recoup the bailout monies from those that misused it (nearly all)
    7. Seal our borders and go after costs from Mexico for what they have cost US tax payers
    8. and the most important of all uphold the oath to the Constitution

    July 29, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    ...and his life story and political philosophy really really sucks.

    Next moron please....

    July 29, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Valerie Jay

    Tim Pawlenty appears to be a reasonable and decent man, something badly missed in the Republican Party. I have not seem him screaming hatred at the Tea Party gatherings, on Fox News inciting the fringe-nuts of the party to "load up" or quoting the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin or Glen Beck. He reminds me of the former senator from Virginia, John Warner, a man of class and distinction whom I greatly admired. As a senior citizen and a former Republican supporter, the once-proud Republican party has been taken over by those who do not have the best interests of our country at heart but whose sole purpose is to bring down the Democratic Obama presidency even if it causes great harm to the country. Only a candidate like Pawlenty would tempt me to again vote Republican and to offer my financial support. However, he will probably never be the Republican presidential candidate – he is too sane.

    July 29, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. carlos

    While Pawlenty is a two-term governor, as written by cnn, most in Minnesota consider him a half two years idiot, most of the time out of state and doing nothing for the state.

    July 29, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    Regardless of who gets the Republican nomination, you can be sure the Democrats will be running against George W. Bush. And you can bet they will stay as far away from the issues and their governance record as possible. After all, their political advisors may be misguided but they aren't stupid.

    July 29, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. j

    who cares what he has to say or what he thinks. go into your hole and stay there.

    July 29, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Robert in Texas

    Nobodody outside of his immediate family cares what Pawlenty has to say about anything. He is typical republican nobody wannabe and he is never going to be President. He is not even a competent governor of a state.

    July 29, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. GL

    This man is so so boring. He is trying so hard to be notice and it is not working.

    July 29, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Joe

    I'll take him seriously when he has the testicular fortitude to denounce Sarah Palin and the other crazies on the far right fringes of the Republican Party.

    July 29, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. vic

    Tim Pawlenty is a gift for republicans if he run in 2012 I may join the party again

    current environment republicans won’t listen to him

    July 29, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Gil

    Tim it won't work! You are too conservative and out of touch with the needs of America and Americans. Stop listening to the robotic republicans that seem to only say No and start thinking and acting independently. Use your brain to help Americans rather than the short sighted goal of trying to ruin the President!

    July 29, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Chris

    I notice he didn't tell anyone about how he has hurt my home state of MN. He doesn't tell people about how he refused to raise taxes on the top 1 percent of earners in MN, instead he cut Local Government Aid which in turn increased property taxes across the state as local governments looked for way just to fund basic services like, police, Fire Departments, Water and Sewer and Streets and bridges. He also didn't tell of his "fees" system, instead of paying for things out of the state budget, he adds fees to everything under the sun, that way he can say that he kept the budget under control without raising taxes. And if things get really bad for your budget just cut things like Child Health Care programs, and children's hospitals and if thats not enough just cut Schools, and for god sake whatever you do, do not buy or fix the school buses, Even when they are on recall. Because in Pawlenty's world balancing the budget while giving tax cuts to billionaires is the key to good government! I love the fact he touts MN as if he has done anything for us. He vetoed Public Transit so he could cut taxes for Best Buy, He vetoed education funding so Target didn't have to pay a penny more in taxes. He also didn't say how he likes to insult mayors and cities if they don't agree with him even if they are in his same party. Pawlenty is no man of the people, he is a man of the Corporations. What MN has going for it comes from the Legacy of Paul Welstone and Rudy Perpich, and this man has been squandering that legacy!

    July 29, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Kevin Collins

    Even though I'm a true-blue Democrat, I have to admit that Pawlenty is far and away the best of the GOPers vying for the 2012 nomination. Unlike the others, he can attack with substance and knows what in the heck he's talking about - unlike Puerile Palin who has nothing but sensationalistic generalities to spew that unfortunately goes over well with her know-nothing/toe-the-line constituents who themselves favor sensationalism over coherence.

    July 29, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Muffet

    I have no problem with capitalism. I have a problem with politicians attempting to downplay their wealth in order to appear as a regular Joe or Jane Doe. On average, most of the wealthy are clueless about the trials and tribulations of average americans. So stop insulting our intelligence with the life story videos and books. Obama was original..try getting some originality....PLEASE.

    July 29, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Pawlenty outlines life story, political philosophy.

    Please don't bother.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    July 29, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Linda

    Pawlenty – the most incompetent governor in the history of the state of Minnesota.

    Wingnut liar – video total falsehoods!

    July 29, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Awesome I'm so excited and fired-up... the Puritan Fundamentalists want to take the country back 100 years in the past and give it back to the elite top 2% of the American population that did NOT ask for a tax cut. Or better yet help Big Oil and other special interest lobbyists find new, creative solutions to not pay their fair share of taxes. Who knew BP can simply deduct their clean-up expenses from their tax liability.

    July 29, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. anthony

    Why is Gov. Pawlenty spending so much time outside of his own state? Is he trying to imitate Bush, who spent one third of his presidency on vacation?

    July 29, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. hypocricnnation

    I've Got A Governor Tim Pawlenty Story For You. Once There Was A Story About A Big Hooked Nose (And Padded Bra), One That Even Made Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer Say "Damn!" Would You Look At That! Well Anyhow, This Man With An Extremely Big Nose (And Mouth To Match It) Thinks That He's Going To Someday Be President. The Problem Is That Even If He Wrote His Name Correctly On His Chest, Only His Family Would Know Him. The End!

    July 29, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  25. Would Tim Mcveigh be a Tea Party hero today?

    Poor Tim,he doesnt own a pair of magic BVDs or a G string like the dancehall girl from Alaska.hahaha

    July 29, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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